Project News

Latest developments on the Einstein Project

2nd EINSTEIN Fellow: Shane Campbell

Shane joined the EINSTEIN team in June 2016. As a Senior Project Consultant on the IES Building Operations team, Shane’s secondment to Trinity College Dublin as part of the EINSTEIN project, focused on the integration and testing of the EINSTEIN developments as they moved from a simulation-based to a real-world implementation environment.

This work involved integration with existing IES tools, as well as training, and testing of the different elements involved, such as model calibration, prediction, fault detection and building performance optimisation using the novel algorithms and approaches developed in the EINSTEIN project.

Although his secondment finished last month in March 2017, Shane will continue to be actively involved in the EINSTEIN project as it enters the final demonstration phase of the project.

1st EINSTEIN Secondment Ends

This month we had to say goodbye to Daniel Coakley. Daniel joined IES a Marie Curie fellow for our European IAPP funded EINSTEIN project, in June 2015. Seconded in the Glasgow office, his work focused on a number of tasks over an 18 month period, finishing last month in November 2016. These included model calibration, data acquisition and analytics, fault detection techniques, building optimisation and system integration, including the design of end user dashboards.

Prior to his secondment with IES, Daniel was a senior post-doctoral research engineer. With expert knowledge of building simulation tools and calibration of building energy simulation (BES) models with measured data, he was the obvious choice for the EINSTEIN fellow position. He also specialises in advanced knowledge of data acquisition and storage systems, data analytics and visualisation tools, as well as various SCADA-based building management systems.

The work undertaken by Daniel during his secondment has been highly valuable to the project partners, and has been key in progressing the development of the EINSTEIN solution. Daniel focused on developing and testing algorithms at the simulation level, as well as forming the basis for the final integration aspects of the project ahead of final demonstration of the solution with real building data in 2017.

In addition, Daniel delivered and presented a number of publications and presentations on his work for the project:

Presented at IES Seminar - 'Operational Energy Management of the Built Environment' at Guinness Storehouse on 18 November 2015.

Presented at ASHRAE Ireland Conference on 9 February 2016.

Presented at CIBSE Technical Symposium 14-15 April 2016. Paper available to download here

Presented at 9th International Conference Improving Energy Efficiency in Commercial Buildings and Smart Communities (IEECB&SC’16), 16 March 2016. Full paper can be downloaded here

Presented at Technical Seminar: Ventilative Cooling & Overheating Risk - Cork Institute of Technology, 20 April 2016.

Presented at IBPSA-England Building Simulation and Optimisation (BSO) Conference, 12-14 September 2016.

Second EINSTEIN Project Workshop

The second EINSTEIN project workshop was hosted at the Engineering Building at the National University of Ireland Galway last Monday 14th November. The workshop, kindly hosted by the College of Engineering and Informatics (CoEI), provided an opportunity for our building operations team to engage with building stakeholders, students, researchers and external companies, in order to showcase current work and identify opportunities for collaboration.

The workshop opened with a tour of the state-of-the-art engineering building at NUI Galway, led by Mr. Aodh Dalton (Chief Technical Officer, College of Engineering and Informatics). Attendees from NUIG-IRUSE, Trinity College Dublin (TCD), IES, Cylon Controls, and ZuTec, were given a guided tour of the building labs, lecture theatres and dedicated energy centre. The building, officially opened in 2011, serves around 1,100 students and researchers, as well as around 110 staff. It serves as a ‘living laboratory’, with exposed services and data to help illustrate aspects of the building design and operation to students, staff and visitors. Aodh provided a wealth of information of the design of the building, including the sustainable and low-energy aspects, such as the Climate Façade, Green Roof, and Passive Ventilation systems. Visitors were also treated to a tour of the dedicated on-site energy centre, which services the buildings heating, cooling and electrical demands through a combination of supply systems, including: Combined Head and Power (CHP), Gas Boilers, Biomass, Solar Hot-water collectors and a small-scale ground-source heat pump.

Figure 1: Mr. Aodh Dalton leads tour of the Engineering Building laboratories and dedicated Energy Centre

The tour was followed by an internal progress meeting with IES and TCD to discuss latest EINSTEIN project developments, and progress on fault detection and model-predictive control. Emphasis was placed on the next phase of the project, where we will demonstrate these advanced control technologies in real pilot sites, at both TCD and NUI Galway.

Figure 2: Ms. Catherine Conaghan presents to NUIG staff and students

In the afternoon, Dr. Jim Duggan, Vice-Dean of Research at NUI Galway, chaired a special seminar on ‘ICT and Smart Cities, open to students, staff and the general public, in order to highlight the current research and opportunities in this area. Ms. Catherine Conaghan (Project Manager, IES Ltd.) gave an overview of current research in building operations – including methods to improve both energy efficiency and occupant comfort in new and existing buildings. Catherine’s presentation covered the concept of smart cities and smart buildings, and how research in this space is driving improved integration between systems, buildings, communities and cities. The solutions being developed through collaborative research projects and training networks are helping to create the next generation of urban energy planners, and engineering solutions capable of leveraging novel ICT technologies to improve design and operational efficiency. Prof. Biswajit Basu, (Prof. of Civil and Environmental Engineering, TCD) discussed how advanced algorithms traditionally used in the engineering dynamics domain are being applied to buildings, for the purpose of fault detection, demand-response and predictive control. In particular, Biswajit presented further detail on the EINSTEIN Project, which aims to develop the next generation of optimised building controllers, through a combination of data-driven fault detection and prediction-based control optimisation.

Figure 3: Stakeholder feedback session

Finally, the evening session focused on a ‘Stakeholder feedback and information’ and ‘Collaboration Opportunities’ involving building operation research participants, as well as members of the NUI Galway academic and building operations staff. The purpose was to provide an overview of ongoing research work and give participants the opportunity to provide input or feedback on this work. Dr. Marcus Keane provided an overview of the recently funded EU H2020 HIT2GAP project, a 4-year €7.9M project (2016-2019), involving 21 partners across 10 EU countries, including 3 Irish partners (NUI Galway, Cylon Controls and ZuTec Ltd.).  The project aims to create a modular platform to support plug-and-play modules that are designed to inform users about the operational performance of their building(s), based on data collected at systems level. Dr. Daniel Coakley then presented on behalf of the EINSTEIN project, a 4-year Marie Curie IAPP project (2014-2017) between IES and TCD. The project aims to deliver specific services to end-users based on the availability of calibrated building energy models. Specifically, the project will deliver modules to support fault detection and diagnosis (FDD), decision support systems (DSS) for enhanced comfort and efficiency, as well as economic model-predictive control for optimised system control.

Figure 2: HIT2GAP Platform (left) and EINSTEIN Platform (Right)

You can view the presentations below:

A fruitful session highlighted a number of areas of overlap and potential collaboration between the two research projects, as well as areas of interest for building operations personnel. Mr. Vincent McCarthy (Cylon Controls) discussed the next generation controllers developed and deployed in the Engineering Building as part of the HIT2GAP project. Dr. Jamie Goggins (Senior Lecturer, NUIG) highlighted the pilot Battle of the Buildings initiative which aims to make students more aware of the energy use of campus buildings and to encourage energy-efficient behaviour through collegial competition. Mr. Karl Byrne (Buildings Office, NUIG), highlighted potential for optimisation of supply system schedules to enhance operational efficiency.

We would like to thank all those who travelled to participate in the workshop last week. In particular, I would like to acknowledge the support of staff at the College of Engineering and Informatics at NUI Galway – Mr. Aodh Dalton, Dr. Jim Duggan, Ms. Sharon Allman, and Ms. Brid Flaherty. I would also like to extend special thanks to representatives who attended from various companies and research institutes: IRUSE/NUIG – Dr. Marcus Keane, Mr. Luis Blanes, Dr. Jamie Goggins and Mr. Karl Byrne; ZuTec Ltd.  – Mr. Brendan O’Riordan and Mr. Liam Stanley, Cylon Controls Ltd. –Mr. Vincent McCarthy, Mr. Paddy Gunn and Mr. Ke Wang; and PM Group – Dr. Barry McDermott.

FREE EINSTEIN SEMINAR: ICT and Smart Cities - Building Design, Control and Optimisation, 14th November 2016

A special EINSTEIN seminar on ‘ICT and Smart Cities’ by Ms. Catherine Conaghan (Integrated Environmental Solutions Ltd.), and Prof. Biswajit Basu, (Trinity College Dublin), is being held on 14th November 2016.

The built environment accounts for approx. 40% of global energy consumption and GHG emissions. Current research is investigating ways in which we can improve both energy efficiency and occupant comfort in new and existing buildings.

The seminar will cover the concept of smart cities and smart buildings, and how research in this space is driving improved integration between systems, buildings, communities and cities. The solutions being developed through collaborative research projects and training networks, are helping to create the next generation of urban energy planners and engineering solutions which are capable of leveraging novel ICT technologies to improve design and operational efficiency.

In particular, this talk will focus on the EINSTEIN Project, which aims to develop the next generation of optimised building controllers, through a combination of data-driven fault detection and prediction-based control optimisation.

Speakers:

Biswajit Basu is a Professor of Civil & Structural Engineering at Trinity College Dublin (TCD), specialising in Nonlinear Wave Theory, Hydrodynamics, Mathematical Oceanography, Nonlinear Analysis, Renewable Energy Technologies, and Smart Grid.

Catherine Conaghan is R&D Project manager at Integrated Environmental Solutions Ltd. (IES), specialising in Building Operations projects related to building energy efficiency, smart building control, energy modelling and calibration.

Date and Time:

Mon, November 14, 2016

1:00 PM – 2:00 PM GMT

Location:

ENG-G047, Engineering Building

National University of Ireland Galway

 

Flyer: Download the Event Flyer Here

 

Register: Register for the Event Here

EINSTEIN fellow Daniel Coakley presents paper at IBPSA-England conference: BSO 2016

IBPSA-England is a regional affiliate organisation of the International Building Performance Simulation Association (IBPSA), an international organisation that aims to advance and promote the science of building performance simulation in order to improve the design, construction, operation, and maintenance of new and existing buildings.

Building Simulation and Optimisation (BSO) is its core national conference, and provides a forum for the exchange of knowledge on the development and application of building performance simulation to the optimum design and operation of buildings.

At this year’s conference in Newcastle 12-14th September, Marie Curie Fellow Daniel Coakley, and IES’ Senior Software Leader Gordon Aird spoke on the topic “Application Of An Optimisation Approach For The Calibration Of High-Fidelity Building Energy Models To Support Model-Predictive Control (MPC) Of HVAC Systems”. An associated paper was also published.


Heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) accounts for up to 50% of building energy consumption, and studies have shown significant potential for savings through the utilisation of fault detection and smart predictive control in place of traditional reactive based control systems. This presentation proposed a strategy for implementing intelligent model-predictive control (MPC) of HVAC systems based on calibrated high-fidelity models and real-time performance data.


The full paper presented can be read here:

aird-coakley-kerrigan---2016---application-of-an-optimisation-approach....pdf

Making real-time operational control of buildings a reality with 3D simulation

IES' Catherine Conaghan recently presented at the All-Energy Conference held at the SECC, Glasgow, between 4-5 May 2016.

All-Energy is the largest renewable energy event in the UK, attracting delegates from across the renewables industry to network, learn from industry experts, source from leading suppliers and find out how to export and innovate.

Catherine’s presentation focused on the IES R&D Building Operation programme, including the EINSTEIN project, to demonstrate how real-time operational control of buildings can be achieved by incorporating real-time data and advanced simulation feedback. You can view her presentation slides from the conference below:

Modelling Natural Ventilation in the VE

Last Week Daniel Coakley of IES spoke on the topic of “Modelling Natural ventilation in the IESVE: Case studies & Research Outlook” at a half day seminar, organised by Cork Institute of Technology (CIT), for researchers, designers, engineers & architects.

This CIT Technical Seminar: Ventilative Cooling & Overheating Risk was organised in collaboration with IEA-EBC Annex 62 and presented state of the art utilisation of ventilation for reducing cooling energy demand and addressing the risk of overheating in low energy buildings.

In his presentation, Daniel covered;

  • an overview of Natural Ventilation simulation in the VE;
  • the use of natural ventilation and adaptive thermal comfort by the winning IES ASHRAE ‘Zero-Net Energy’ (ZNE) Challenge team;
  • and a future view of IES R&D work in the Building Operations space thought the EINSTEIN project.
     

Paper Published: Synthesis and Refinement of Artificial HVAC Sensor Data Intended for Supervised Learning in Data-Driven AFDD Techniques

Up to 20% of the total energy used in developing countries is consumed within HVAC systems with between 15-50% of this consumption being attributed to faulty operation. A UK survey conducted in 2000 which found prompt detection and diagnosis of HVAC faults can reduce the average plant consumption by more than 10-35%. Similarly, analysis of VAV systems found considerable HVAC energy savings could be made through the adoption of Automated Fault Detection and Diagnostics (AFDD).

Many approaches to HVAC AFDD have been developed, but the commercial viability of many of these techniques still needs to be thoroughly investigated. A history of known ‘tagged’ instances of faults within the data-set is essential for assessing and comparing the frequency of false alarms or detection success rates. IES has found that historical system data is often unavailable and inadequate for this purpose. Therefore, simulation of faults using real test plant or software provides a promising alternative.

The following paper was recently published by IES R&D in conjunction with the EINSTEIN project. The Simulation Enhanced Integrated Systems for Model-based Intelligent Control(s) Project (EINSTEIN) is a European funded project which aims to develop and deploy a prototype building operation optimisation framework. The paper proposes a scheme for the procurement and preparation of synthetic BEMS data in which faults are present using the IESVE.

“Synthesis and Refinement of Artificial HVAC Sensor Data Intended for Supervised Learning in Data-Driven AFDD Techniques.”

David McCabe presented this paper at the 9th International Conference Improving Energy Efficiency in Commercial Buildings and Smart Communities (IEECB&SC’16) in Frankfurt on 16th March 2016. His slides can be viewed below:

EINSTEIN project shines at inaugural ASHRAE Ireland event

Firstly, I must congratulate all the new ASHRAE Ireland committee, who worked really hard alongside myself, to make our first event a great success. It took place in the heart of Dublin (Dublin Castle), on 9th February 2016, and was incredibly well attended, with over 80 representatives from a diverse group across the whole building services sector – from both industry and academia. In addition, 10 sponsoring organisations including IES were also present, representing building design, HVAC equipment, refrigeration and controls.

A varied agenda included talks from across the industry:
•    ASHRAE Organisation and the Ireland Section: Frank Caul (Sirus), Ken Goodman (ASHRAE Sub-Region B Chair) & Dr. Bruce D. Hunn (ASHRAE)
•    Commercial Building Performance: Dr. Bruce D. Hunn (ASHRAE)
•    Building energy policy and research: Kevin O’Rourke and Dr. Daniel Coakley
•    Industrial Refrigerants: Seamus Kerr (RSL Ireland)

Bruce Hunn, the headline ASHRAE Distinguished Lecturer, spoke about ‘Performance Measurement protocols for Commercial buildings’, giving an in-depth discussion on characteristic measures for energy, water and indoor environmental quality (IEQ), as well as best practice guidelines for the application of each. This talk covered many important aspects of performance measurement, including setting the objective (why is it measured?), the metric (what to measure and how?), and finally the outputs in terms of appropriate benchmarks or performance indicators. The talk covered the three levels of performance objectives - basic, intermediate and advanced, giving detailed examples for each case, utilising the ASHRAE HQ building in Atlanta as a case study. Click here to view the presentation slides.

In the afternoon session, which focused on building policy and research, I introduced the concept of smart cities and smart buildings. My presentation illustrated how current IES research in this space is driving improved integration between systems, buildings, communities and cities. In particular, the talk focuses on solutions being developed through collaborative research projects and training networks, such as Horizon 2020 and Marie Curie, and how these are helping create the next generation of urban energy planners and engineering solutions capable of leveraging novel ICT technologies to improve design and operational efficiency. In particular, I highlighted my involvement in one of these projects - EINSTEIN, a Marie Curie IAPP project in collaboration with Trinity College Dublin, which aims to develop the next generation of optimised building controllers, through a combination of data-driven fault detection and prediction-based control optimisation. Click here to view the presentation slides.

Overall, the event was a great success for the launch of ASHRAE in Ireland, with a fantastic turnout, and positive feedback from attendees, sponsors and invited speakers and guests. It was great to see such a high level of interest and commitment from people from across the building services spectrum. We hope that this will lead to the growth of the organisation in Ireland, with further events already in planning, and growing interest in the formation of technical sub-committees among interested individuals and organisations.

You can read a full write up of the event in Engineers Ireland Journal.

EINSTEIN supports ASHRAE Ireland launch event

Through my role with IES R&D, I’m lucky enough to find myself supporting the launch of the first ASHRAE Section in Ireland and am currently helping to organise its inaugural event. Taking place on 9th February at Dublin Castle, the conference will focus on commercial building energy performance, and will feature the ASHRAE Distinguished Lecturer, Dr. Bruce D. Hunn, who will lecture on measurement, evaluation and improvement of energy performance of commercial buildings. Additional talks will include recent developments in natural refrigerants, modelling of HVAC systems and controls, as well as building energy policy and regulation.

ASHRAE is an international organisation of around 53,000 members covering 132 nations, focussed on technical advancements in heating, ventilation, air-conditioning and refrigeration, and helping to promote sustainability in these areas. In June 2015, I helped establish ASHRAE Ireland, with the aim to promote the organisations goals to our current national membership, and help encourage networking of member groups and organisations under this common goal.

As well as being involved in the launch of ASHRAE Ireland I’m also a research fellow on EINSTEIN, a Marie Curie Industry-Academia Partnerships and Pathways (IAPP) project, between IES and Trinity College Dublin (TCD). The aim of EINSTEIN is to formulate and integrate a number of advanced building control strategies; Controls which will not only help eradicate errors between ‘as-built’ and ‘as-designed’ conditions but also include predictive analysis of how the building should perform, taking into account future weather predictions and occupant use. The synergy between the project and the conference theme made it the perfect fit for me and for IES who are sponsoring the event.

The event already has an excellent line-up of speakers so far, with energy sector representatives from both industry and academia. Our very own Catherine Conaghan will be speaking on “Building Energy Modelling and Smart Building Control” covering commercial available solutions IES already has in the space as well as looking at EINSTEIN and other research projects ongoing in IES R&D under the theme of operations and smart building control.

I fully expect the event will be a great opportunity to create meaningful engagement on the energy issues facing individuals and companies, particularly in the face of falling energy prices and increasing importance of meeting demanding sustainability targets.

Read more about the event and sign up here. We look forward to welcoming you to Dublin Castle on 9th February.

Operational Energy Management of the Built Environment

On the 18th November 2015, IES and Trinity College Dublin hosted a one day seminar Operational Energy Management of the Built Environment, in Dublin. Alongside other presentations it was a chance to specifically focus on the work and results of the EINSTEIN project to date.

You can read the presentations myself and Biswajit Basu from Trinity gave here and here.

We also took part in a DiscoverResearch Workshop, on 25th September 2015, at Trinity College Dublin, in Ireland. The EINSTEIN kit developed for building energy system identification and control was displayed to the public as a part of this event.

Half way point brings exciting results

EINSTEIN is nearing the end of its second year, bringing us to the half way mark. And excitingly we’re starting to see some really interesting results.

EINSTEIN is a Marie Curie Industry-Academia Partnerships and Pathways (IAPP) project, where knowledge is shared between Industry and Academic partners through a number of staff exchanges. The aim is to encourage entrepreneurship and to help to turn creative ideas into innovative products and processes.

Together with our project partners Trinity College Dublin (TCD), the aim of EINSTEIN is to formulate and integrate a number of advanced building control strategies. Controls which will not only eradicate errors between ‘as-built’ and ‘as-designed’ conditions but also include predictive analysis of how the building needs to perform, taking into account future weather predictions and occupant use.

From the work we’ve done to date, we’re starting to get see some really interesting results in relation to the three algorithms in development (fault detection, prediction and optimisation).

The results and key findings in project to date will be presented and discussed by the project team members as part of the Operational Energy Management of the Built Environment Seminar that IES is hosting with Trinity in the Guinness Storehouse on the Wednesday 18th November.

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