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Intelligent Building Analytics

One of the Sustainable ORNL roadmaps of increasing significance communicates the growth of intelligent building analytics as a system to advance energy efficiency and water use improvements on the campus. We are engaged in continuous efforts to expand the RA platform for energy and demand data management utility sources and estimated building-level energy consumption. This allows for sequencing of operations data collection and improves visibility of data, leading to better real-time decisions and actions. As the system expands, more opportunities become apparent to actively engage field engineers in using meter alerts for preventing and diagnosing of operational issues. We continue to find and document success with meter alert implementation for catching operational issues such as stuck flush valves and heating valves that fail to open. As ORNL's CEDS, RA, and the Building Automations Systems continue to grow in size and operational significance, we are building capabilities for data quality, reporting, and configuration management. At the same time, we expand efforts to keep cyber security in lockstep by building a more secure industrial controls system network. This is a purpose-built network with security measures specific to the sensitivity of facility and energy management systems. This new network ensures that our industrial controls systems functionality and data will be protected for years to come.

Notable Activities: DOE 500001 Ready Certification for ORNL

To complement the benefits of investments in advanced energy and water metering technology and intelligent building analytics, ORNL recognized the advantage of implementing a structured process to take its energy performance to the next level. We were in a prime position to deploy a system that could facilitate and document continuous energy and water usage reductions and help to improve operational costs.

After learning more about 50001 Ready at DOE's annual Energy Exchange conference, the ORNL energy team obtained the approval and support from the Facilities Management Division to implement the prescribed energy management system. The 50001 Ready Navigator guidance and tools helped to formally document the energy management processes and procedures and organize data records. The modestly sized ORNL energy team particularly appreciated the efficiencies of a central system for storing its plans, policies, energy data, and annual performance progress. The endorsed system took about 12 months to implement and has surpassed expectations in identifying relevant variables and accelerating energy analyses through the emphasis of life-cycle energy analysis and staff engagement.

DOE launched the 50001 Ready Program in 2017, and ORNL is the third federal location and only the second national laboratory to receive the certification. DOE's 50001 Ready program is a self-guided approach for facilities to validate an energy management system and self-attest to  the structure of the International Organization for Standardization for energy-efficient operations. To achieve the 50001 Ready certification, organizations are responsible for completing all 25 tasks in the DOE 50001 Ready Navigator online tool and for measuring and improving energy performance over time.

Visit DOE's Better Building's website for more details outlined in the ORNL Facility Management Division Case Study.

Facility Metering: Quality Data is the KEY to Data-Driven Performance

Over the past 10+ years, ORNL has implemented and improved upon an extensive site-wide metering plan that includes all metered utilities on the campus. The metering plan is a comprehensive document that charts a course for ORNL's continued advanced metering deployment, which is consistent with the November 2014 Update to the Federal Building Metering Guidance and with current DOE directives focused on advanced utility metering where cost-effective and appropriate. The metering plan considers variables such as square footage, space use design, and energy consumption estimates (current and future). The metering plan is updated at least annually to document progress that has been made and to note any shift in priorities.

In 2019, we installed 42 additional advanced utility meters across all utilities, including electrical, steam, chilled water, natural gas, and potable water. The meters were connected to the ORNL Central Energy Data System (CEDS) to ensure quality energy performance data. CEDS can record multiple parameters from each meter on a standard 15-minute interval. This system also enables meter data trend analysis, report generation, and energy awareness dashboard deployment, as well as data export for use in other analyses.

To enhance data-driven decisions, we have deployed a new module for the CEDS system called "Resource Advisor" (RA) to enhance data archiving and decision analysis. ORNL utility and energy engineers used RA's advanced configuration capabilities to easily calculate and quickly display total building energy consumption using data from the advanced utility meters. RA provides comprehensive dashboard and energy-analysis capabilities that align with ORNL's continued maturation in energy data use. RA directly feeds metered energy data into the US Environmental Protection Agency's Energy STAR Portfolio Manager for benchmarking and measuring and reporting performance for federal reporting.