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Building operation

Energy-monitoring platform with CANopen

Published 2017-09-06

Through optimized operation management, building energy consumption can be saved. For this purpose, Fraunhofer offers its Mondas energy-monitoring platform. It comes with CANopen.

The web-based data visualization of the Mondas energy-monitoring platform provides displaying possibilities that can be configured and structured by the user (Photo: Fraunhofer)

In order to save energy, a detailed analysis of the building operation is necessary. For this purpose, Fraunhofer ISE developed the Mondas energy-monitoring platform, which provides all functions necessary for collecting, saving, processing, and visualizing relevant time-series data regarding building operation.

The data collection module is an interface for different measuring devices and protocols regarding building operation. The basis for this is a configurable, expandable basic implementation that connects to the existing building automation and management systems over protocols such as CANopen. Other supported protocols include Modbus-TCP, Modbus-RTU, Bacnet, M-Bus, and EIB/KNX.

Through continuous and automated supervision of the operation of building services, energy savings can be reached. Optimization takes economical aspects into account and focuses on energy costs, thermal comfort and effective energy, and facility management. Often even inexpensive measures have an effect on energy efficiency and building operation costs. This especially applies for existing offices and commercial buildings, where for instance often only minimal changes in the parameters of the building automation system are necessary to improve the building operation.

“It is crucial for the building operators to evaluate large amounts of data with an efficient and comprehensive software, in order to quickly identify energy saving potentials and to organize corrective measures”, explaind Nicolas Réhault, Head of Group Building Performance Optimization at Fraunhofer ISE. “With the energy monitoring platform Mondas, we provide this target group with a high-performance tool.” The energy monitoring platform was developed by Fraunhofer ISE and PSE, and is available from both partners upon request.

The platform uses the HDF5-Format to store the data collected. This enables access that is up to 100 times faster than in SQL-based relational databases. As a result, even large data records are available for analysis algorithms and visualizations. Furthermore, several databases can be connected to a cluster of data modules via a data protocol. With every time series metadata is saved that describes for instance the sensor or actuator location or the sensor type like e.g. a temperature or pressure sensor. Thereby, the metadata represents the basis for further automated processing steps like e. g fault detection and diagnostics.

The platform includes standardized filtering functions that can be interconnected to calculations. The standard filters include tasks, such as recognition and interpolation of data gaps, comparison of different data sets, as well as methods for identification of certain data patterns and correlations. This methodical approach forms the basis for development of data analysis algorithms.

Based on the basic components of Mondas, Fraunhofer ISE has developed different algorithms for the automated supervision of the energy building operation. They enable the automatic detection and identification of errors and suboptimal states in the operation of building services like heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems. They also provide insights for energy and facility managers to organize corrective measures. The developed algorithms include a rule-based system based on expert knowledge as well as machine learning methods like e. g. clustering or qualitative models.

The web-based data visualization of the platform offers display options to the user who can configure and structure their interface according to their needs. Visualization options include line and bar charts, as well as relational data charts and color gradient charts. Display and parameterization views (Widgets), for example descriptions or equipment overviews, can be arranged in different views. The views allow hierarchical subdivisions, enabling structuring according to the building, equipment or energy flow structure and thus displaying adequate information to support energy and facility management tasks.

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