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Applied Energy

journal homepage: www.elsevier.com/locate/apenergy

Massieh Naja a,, David M. Auslander a, Peter L. Bartlett b, Philip Haves c, Michael D. Sohn d

a

Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of California, Berkeley, California 94720, United States

Computer Science Division and Department of Statistics, University of California, Berkeley, California 94720, United States

c

Commercial Building Systems Group, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, California 94720, United States

d

Airow and Pollutant Transport Group, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, California 94720, United States

b

a r t i c l e

i n f o

Article history:

Received 16 August 2011

Received in revised form 9 January 2012

Accepted 20 February 2012

Available online 27 March 2012

Keywords:

Bayesian network

HVAC systems

Air-handling unit

Energy management

Fault detection and diagnosis

Machine learning

a b s t r a c t

An air handling units energy usage can vary from the original design as components fail or fault dampers leak or fail to open/close, valves get stuck, and so on. Such problems do not necessarily result in occupant complaints and, consequently, are not even recognized to have occurred. In spite of recent progress

in the research and development of diagnostic solutions for air handling units, there is still a lack of reliable, scalable, and affordable diagnostic solutions for such systems. Modeling limitations, measurement

constraints, and the complexity of concurrent faults are the main challenges in air handling unit diagnostics. The focus of this paper is on developing diagnostic algorithms for air handling units that can address

such constraints more effectively by systematically employing machine-learning techniques. The proposed algorithms are based on analyzing the observed behavior of the system and comparing it with a

set of behavioral patterns generated based on various faulty conditions. We show how such a patternmatching problem can be formulated as an estimation of the posterior distribution of a Bayesian probabilistic model. We demonstrate the effectiveness of the approach by detecting faults in commercial building air handling units.

2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

1. Introduction

1.1. Overview

Air handling units account for a signicant portion of building

energy consumption and have a major impact on comfort conditions and building maintenance cost. An air handling units energy

usage can vary from the original design as components fail or fault:

dampers leak or fail to open/close, valves get stuck, and so on. Such

problems do not necessarily result in occupant complaints, as the

cascade structure of the control system would try to neutralize

the fault effect through re-adjusting other parameters and/or

changing the component loads. For instance, the effect of a damper-leakage fault may be covered by re-adjusting the position of

the hot or cold water valves. The fault may not even be recognized

to have occurred even though it may result in an increase in energy

usage. As long as the control system satises the set-points, the

building operators tend to assume that the system is working efciently in a non-faulty condition.

The topic of fault detection and diagnosis in air handling units

has been an active area of research and development for more than

Corresponding author.

E-mail addresses: massieh@ieee.org (M. Naja), dma@me.berkeley.edu (D.M.

Auslander), bartlett@cs.berkeley.edu (P.L. Bartlett), phaves@lbl.gov (P. Haves),

mdsohn@lbl.gov (M.D. Sohn).

0306-2619/$ - see front matter 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

doi:10.1016/j.apenergy.2012.02.049

there is still a lack of reliable, affordable, and scalable solutions

to locate and manage faults in these systems; modeling limitations,

measurement constraints, and the complexity of concurrent faults

are among the main challenges for scalable solutions for air handling unit diagnostics.

The fact is that the principles of HVAC systems, particularly for

air handling units, are known well enough to create suitable model

structures; however, the accuracy of such models can be improved

only up to a certain level; beyond that, excessive effort is required

to obtain high-quality a priori knowledge,1 which negatively affects

model scalability. This limits the applicability of diagnostic strategies

that rely on accurate or detailed models.

On the other hand, the architecture of sensor networks in air

handling units is not necessarily designed solely for diagnostic purposes. Other factors and considerations such as control objectives,

nancial constraints, and practical limitations are also involved. As

a result, we are confronted with situations in which the performance of two or more components is monitored through only

one sensor (or one set of sensors). A well-known example is reliance on supply air temperature to analyze the functionality of

1

If the model is a detailed rst-principle model, the a priori knowledge comprises

mainly model parameter values and their variations. If the model is an empirical

model, the a priori knowledge is usually high-quality training data for system

behavior in different modes.

348

Nomenclature

HVAC

heating, ventilation, and air conditioning

No fault no-fault condition

Reverse reverse actuator fault

OAD leak outside air damper leakage fault

RAD leak return air damper leakage fault

Stuck

stuck damper fault

Fouling fouling fault

VLV stuck valve-stuck fault

SAT

supply air temperature (F)

OAT

outside air temperature (F)

RAT

return air temperature (F)

MAT

mixed air temperature (F)

DMP

outside air damper position (F)

T_air_in temperature of entering air (F)

T_water_in temperature of entering water (F)

T_air_out temperature of outgoing air (F)

NTU

number of transfer unit (NTU) method

CFM

cubic feet per minute, measurement of air volume ow

rate

the mixing box and heating and cooling coils. As will be shown later, in such scenarios, when the sensor output is contaminated, it

could be due to the malfunction of any involved components,

and it is not necessarily straightforward to locate the malfunctioning one.

The complexity of modeling limitations and measurement constraints in air handling unit diagnostics becomes even more severe

when the possibility of concurrent faults is taken into account. A

single-fault assumption would relieve the diagnostic complexity,

but in reality, two or more faults may occur at the same time within one component or across different ones. The effect of concurrent

faults is not necessarily a linear interpolation of each individual

ones.

One approach to relieve the diagnostic complexity due to modeling limitations and measurement constraints is active diagnostics. In active-mode diagnostics, the diagnostic mechanism

actively controls or manipulates the system inputs (e.g. damper

positions, valves, etc.) to detect and isolate faults. Usually, inputs

are changed based on predened (or adaptive) test sequences to

explore various operating conditions. The tests can be structured

to explore operating points with less uncertainty or error, or in

the case of one sensor being affected by several components functionality, put neighboring components into neutral states to have

one component at a time affecting the measured variable. However, active-mode diagnostics require isolation of the system from

normal operation, an option that may not be feasible.

Conversely, in passive-mode diagnostics, there is no control on

the inputs. In this approach, the system is in a closed-loop operation manipulated by the control system based on the set-point error and so on. This is a more complicated scenario, as there is no

capability to change or manipulate the inputs to follow a test procedure or sequence. The diagnostic mechanism needs to somehow

make the best use of available data (measurements) from daily

operation.

The focus of this paper is on developing passive-mode diagnostic algorithms for air handling units that can systematically address the above constraints in a passive mode. We believe that

an ideal diagnostic solution should not only be reliable in detecting

and isolating abnormal behaviors but also have systematic solutions for constraints and challenges related to scalability and

affordability. Our proposed diagnostic algorithm is based on

VLV

IID

va

vw

Ch

Cc

Tair-in

Tw-in

a

b

l

r2

DP

Cp

d

valve position

independent and identically distributed

air velocity (ft/s)

velocity of water (ft/s)

hot uid capacity rate

cold uid capacity rate

temperature of incoming air (F)

temperature of incoming water (F)

coefcient factor

coefcient factor

mean or expected value

variance

total pressure rise across fan

specic heat of air (BTU/lbF)

density (lb/ft3)

fan combined efciency

a set of predened patterns generated based on different fault

assumptions. In Section 3, we will show how such a patternmatching problem can be formulated as estimation of the posterior

distribution of a Bayesian diagnostic model. We will also show

how the proposed diagnostic framework can systematically address modeling and measurement constraints. In Section 4, we

demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed algorithm using various examples.

2. Literature survey

Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems account for more than 30% of annual energy use in the United States

[3,5,6]; however, it has become apparent that only a small percentage of them work efciently or in accordance with the design intent [2,9]. Operational faults are one of the main causes for the

inefcient operation of HVAC systems. Studies of existing buildings

have found that energy savings of 515% are typically achievable

simply by xing faults and optimizing HVAC control systems [8].

However, the current methods of detecting faults or performance creep are labor-intensive. Typically, building operators or

engineers use intuition and various rules of thumb to identify the

problem. In practice, the labor-intensiveness of these tasks is such

that they are not routinely performed and in fact may never be performed. If the 515% energy savings are to be met in practice,

HVAC systems must be capable of detecting when a failure has occurred, when performance is creeping and to determine the likely

offending hardware or operating condition. Automated systems for

fault detection are, therefore, essential if low-energy or net-zero

energy goals are to be met nationally.

Functionally, an air handling unit (AHU) is a device used to condition and circulate the air as part of an HVAC system. It is usually a

large metal structure containing one or two fans, a mixing box, and

heating/cooling coils2 (Fig. 1). The mixing box mixes the air returning from the building with fresh outside air; the minimum ratio of

outside air to be re-circulated is specied by building codes. The

heating/cooling coils heat up or cool down the mixed air to maintain

the required supply air temperature and humidity.

2

349

Typically, an air handling unit contains three temperature sensors, the outside air temperature (OAT), return air temperature

(RAT), and supply air temperature (SAT) sensors, along with a fan

status indicator (Fig. 1). One of the main challenges in monitoring

air handling unit performance is the absence of a reliable measurement for the mixed air temperature (MAT), the temperature of the

air coming from the mixing box before going through the heating/

cooling sections. Usually, either there is no sensor in place to measure the MAT or, even if there is a temperature sensor, the sensor

readings are unreliable due to incomplete upstream mixing. This

constraint forces us to use the SAT sensor to evaluate mixing box

performance. However, as shown in Fig. 1, the SAT is also affected

by the heating/cooling coil functionality, and distinguishing the

straightforward (as in the case when two or more components

are being monitored through one sensor).

An AHU malfunctions when any number of its internal components faults. Air handling diagnostics have been an active area for

research and development [26,27,33,43,7,41,24,12,14]. A variety of

diagnostic solutions ranging from rst-principle-model-based

diagnostic routines [16,32] to empirical-model-based diagnostic

approaches [36,32,45,46,34,29,30] and qualitative/rule-based diagnostic solutions [25,4,19,15] have been developed for the evaluation of air handling unit performance and its components.

However, as mentioned earlier, the nature of the HVAC industry

and the fact that AHUs are usually designed and customized for

350

each individual buildings limit the applicability of diagnostic solutions that rely on detailed models (or models that rely on conguration data that is not easily measureable or accessible) from the

scalability perspective. On the other hand, when an analysis approach employs simplied, more generic, models, the challenge

is how to differentiate between the inconsistencies due to model

misspecication errors and those due to system malfunction. In

other words, when detailed models are replaced with more simplied ones, the interpretation of model prediction differences becomes more challenging.

A strategic approach to address the complexity of employing

simplied models is to change the focus of an analysis approach instead on system behavioral patterns instead on error residuals. In

other words, instead of analyzing the difference between the system output and the model prediction at one or a few operating

points, diagnostics are made by evaluating the system behavioral

patterns over a window of operation. This lessens the dependency

of the diagnostic algorithm on model accuracy. Such an approach

has been employed by a number of diagnostic routines, particularly qualitative and semi-quantitative diagnostic approaches

[26,27]. The key here is an algorithm (inference mechanism) that

evaluates the observed behavior and compares it against a set of

predened (or even adaptive) hypotheses. Fuzzy logic has become

a popular choice for such problems due to the inherent exibility

embedded in fuzzy sets and fuzzy rules, which makes it a suitable

solution for reasoning in domains with some level of uncertainty

[44,16,17,20]. For example, Haves et al. [17] proposed a fuzzybased diagnostic routine for the fault diagnostics of VAV air handling units in which the fuzzy-based inference mechanism compares the predictions of simplied models with the air handling

unit component outputs at various operating conditions to draw

conclusions about the air handling unit health status.

However, fuzzy-based inference mechanisms have their own

limitations. As the problem complexity grows (due to the system

complexity, a large amount of disparate sensor data, the number

of potential faults, etc.), a large number of fuzzy sets and fuzzy

rules are required to analyze the system performance. Added to

this is the difculty with adjusting and tuning fuzzy sets either

manually or through other approaches.

Another approach to managing modeling limitations are rulebased diagnostic routines [42,10,35,1,28,37,38]. In this approach,

a priori knowledge is formulated through a set of if-then rules coupled with an inference mechanism searching through the rules to

draw a diagnostic conclusion. Rule-based frameworks can be designed based on expert knowledge or rst principles. Their advantage is simplicity and ease of deployment; however, as discussed in

Katipamula and Brambley [26,27], as problem complexity grows or

when new/additional rules are added, the simplicity of the approach is lost quickly. Furthermore, sometimes the activation of

the rules depends on threshold(s), which may depend greatly on

model uncertainties, measurement errors, or other issues. More

discussion on this can be found in House et al. [19].

In this paper, we adopt the strategy of employing simplied

models, as we believe that dependency on complex and detailed

models is a signicant technological barrier and cause for industry

resistance to large-scale deployment. Our approach therefore relies

on more sophisticated inference mechanisms to interpret discrepancies between model predictions and the system output.

[39,40]. Once the closest hypothetical pattern is identied, the

associated assumptions are concluded to be the system health status. For example, in mixing box diagnostics, if it turns out that the

observed performance is closer to the behavioral pattern described

by the outside-air-damper-leakage fault condition from a pool of

behavioral patterns associated with stuck-damper fault, reverseactuator fault, and so on, it is concluded that the underlying mixing

box had an outside-air-damper-leakage fault.3

To formulate this within a mathematical framework, let us dene the set of potential faults as:

F ff1 ; f2 ; f3 ; . . . :; fn g

3:1

E fe1 ; e2 ; e3 ; . . . :; em g

3:2

The aim is to calculate the probability of F given E, P(F/E) posterior

probability of F, and nd out for which combination of f1, f2, f3, . . ., fn,

P(F/E) is maximized.

f1 . . . fn Represents the set of all possible faults in the systems (fi

is 1 when the ith fault exists and 0 when the ith fault does not

exist). For example, in the mixing box example, f1 could be an outside-air-damper-leakage fault, f2 could be a return-air-damperleakage fault, and f3 could be a reverse-actuator fault. Therefore,

F = {1, 0, 0} means that only one fault (an outside-air-damper-leakage fault) exists; F = {0, 0, 1} is related to the case of reverse-actuator fault, similarly, and F = {1, 1, 0} is related to the case of two

concurrent faults: an outside-air-damper-leakage fault and a return-air-damper-leakage fault. The case of F = {0, 0, 0} is related

to a no-fault scenario.

Note that the marginal probability of an individual fault (fj) can

be calculated by:

Pfj je1 ; e2 ; e3 ; . . . ; em

Pf1 ; f2 ; f3 ; . . . :; fn je1 ; e2 ; e3 ; . . . ; em

f1 ...fn excludingfj

3:3

Now, using Bayes rule, we can compute P(F/E) as:

f1 ...fn Pf1 . . . fn Pe1 . . . em jf1 . . . fn

Pf1 . . . fn je1 . . . em P

3:4

can be used to estimate the prior distributions. They can be dened

based on statistical analysis: if there are statistical results or qualitative information about which faults (or fault combinations) are

more frequent than others. Additionally, intuitive methods can be

employed to dene the fault priors. In this paper, we follow the philosophy that a single fault is more likely to occur than two faults

simultaneously; similarly, two concurrent faults have a higher

occurrence probability than three concurrent faults. Therefore, single faults are assigned a higher prior than two concurrent faults, and

two concurrent faults would have a higher prior than three concurrent faults, and so on.

With an IID sampling assumption,4 Eq. (3.4) can be expanded as:

log

m

P

i1

f1 ...fn

3:5

3. Diagnostic algorithm

We think of fault diagnostics as the process of analyzing a system behavioral pattern (observed performance) and comparing it

with a set of hypothetical patterns to nd the closest match. Each

hypothetical pattern is developed based on the assumption of the

3

The mixing box functionality, model, and diagnostic algorithm are discussed in

detail in Section 4.

4

Here, the IID assumption means that, given faults f1 . . . fn, the random variables

e1 . . . em are statistically independent and identically distributed. More on IID

sampling can be found in DasGupta [11].

351

ei given f1 . . . fn. This comes from the system model: assuming that

the fault condition f1 . . . fn exists, what is the likelihood of measuring

ei? We can split ei into two sets: the sets of system inputs, Ii and system outputs, Oi.

ei Ii ; Oi

The inputs are assumed to be known and deterministic,5 and the

output is what is measured from the system behavior. For example,

in the case of the mixing box, the inputs are the outside air temperature (OAT), the return air temperature (RAT), and the outside air

damper position (DMP), and the output could be the mixed air temperature (MAT) or outside air fraction (OAF).6

Under these assumptions, P(ei|f1 . . . fn) can be written as7:

3:6

It denes the system output as a random variable conditionally

dependent on the input and the fault status. Interpreting the model

output as a random variable provides a systematic structure to deal

with uncertainties in the model output due to modeling simplications and errors. In this framework, such uncertainties can be

quantied into the random variable variance.

One challenge with Eqs. (3.4) and (3.5) is that, for applications

with a large number of potential faults, there would be a very large

number of faulty scenarios to analyze (it can be on the order of a

thousand or more). For applications such as an air handling unit

in which the number of faults is limited and manageable, this is

not a concern. However, for more complex applications where

the number of potential faults/abnormalities is on the order of

hundreds, it would be computationally problematic. One solution

could be solving Eqs. (3.4) and (3.5) numerically by employing

numerical algorithms such as the Markov chain Monte Carlo

(MCMC) method. Another practical approach is to adopt more simplications/assumptions to reduce the problems complexity. For

instance, we may assume that concurrent faulty scenarios with

more than three simultaneous faults are negligible, as they have

a very small probability.8

The probabilistic models in Eq. (3.6) can be developed in different ways. They could be an extension of analytical models with

added uncertainties/errors, or more sophisticated statistical procedures can be employed to develop the models. For example, the

characteristics of the output random variable can be thought of

as a combination of a set of basis functions generated at the input,

linearly combined with coefcients inuenced by the system fault

status. If the output random variable is a Gaussian distribution (or,

more generically, an exponential family distribution), the estimation of the linear coefcients can be straightforward. As some of

the demonstrations in Section 4 employ these types of models, it

would be helpful to briey address the derivations of such models.

Lets assume that the system has a set of inputs I = [I1, I2,

I3, . . . , Im]T and an output, y, which we assume to be a Gaussian

distribution with l, r2 as the mean and variance variables. Also, assume that there is a set of basis functions {h1, h2, h3, . . . , hn} projecting the input vector I to x = [x1, x2, x3, . . . , xn]T so that we have:

x1 h1 I; x2 h2 I; . . . ; xn hn I

3:7

5

The assumption of deterministic inputs can be dropped for more general

scenarios.

6

OAF is dened in Section 4.

7

Here we assume modeling the static behavior of the system.

8

Keep in mind that such simplication/assumption would affect only the

denominator of Equation (3.4) [or the last of part of Eq. (3.6)], which is the

normalizing factor for correct estimation of the posterior probabilities. They will not

affect the process of locating the fault combination with maximum posterior

distribution. They would change only slightly the marginal probability of faults.

x9:

l hT x where hT h1 ; h2 ; . . . ; hn T

3:8

1

1

Pyi jl; r2 p exp 2 yi li 2

2r

2pr2

9

8

<l y l2i =

y2i

1

i i

2

exp

p exp 2

: r2 ;

2r

2pr2

li yi Ali

hyi exp

2

l1 = hTx1,

where

hyi

1

p

,

2pr2

Ali

l21

2

3:9

representation of the Gaussian distribution.10 Now, for N IID samples of y (e.g. y1, y2, y3, . . . , yn), the log-likelihood can be written as:

lh log

N

Q

li yi Ali

r2

hyi exp

i1

N

P

loghyi

i1

hT XN

xy

i1 i i

1 XN

r2

i1

AhT xi

3:10

the IID sampling assumption, we can write P(y1, y2 . . . yn), which is

the likelihood of observing y1, y2 . . . yn as:

N

Q

Pyi

i1

from Eq. (3.9) and then take the log of both sides.

Now, if we calculate the rst derivative of the likelihood function in Eq. (3.10):

rh l

N @l @ l

P

1 XN

1

i

y li xi 2 X T y l

2

i1 i

@

l

@h

r

r

i1

i

3:11

where X = [x1, x2, . . ., xn], Y = [y1, y2, . . ., yn]T and l = [l1, l2, . . ., ln]T

And the second derivative is:

r2h l

1 Xn

r2

x xT

i1 i i

r2

XT X

3:12

is a concave function, and we can estimate h that maximizes (h), the

likelihood function, by employing a convex optimization

algorithm.11

Graphically, the proposed algorithms in Eqs. (3.4) and (3.5) can

be represented as a Bayesian network model with three nodes

(Fig. 2, Graph A): the input node, which represents the system inputs; the output node, representing the system outputs; and the

fault node, representing system faults. The input node is assumed

to be known and deterministic. The output node is a random variable conditionally dependent on the input node and the fault

node. The projection from the input node to the output node is

inuenced by the fault node, which is indeed a simplied model

of the system. With this framework, the diagnostic process is dened as an estimate of the posterior distribution of the fault and

9

For simplicity, we assume here that only l is a function of H. However, in a more

general case, both l and r2 can be assumed to be a function of H.

10

More about the exponential families and canonical representations can be found

in Jordan et al. [23,22,31].

11

This derivation is indeed a special case for generalized linear models (GLM).

Further details about generalized linear models can be found in Jordan et al. [23] and

Dobson and Barnett [13].

352

model, each node itself is a Bayesian diagnostic model of the related component. In Fig. 3, the rst node can be related to a mixing

box and the second one to a heating coil. The interaction between

nodes is dened based on the system architecture. A component

node input may contain all or part of the adjacent component node

outputs, and similarly, its output may construct all or part of the

next component inputs. The input nodes are not necessarily deterministic anymore, and the output nodes may not be fully observed.

When there is a measurement constraint, the associated node is

considered to be a hidden variable and the calculation of posterior

probabilities is achieved by summing over all possible values of the

hidden node. In Fig. 3, if the output of the rst component, which is

also the input of the second component, is assumed to be hidden

(not measureable), the posterior probability of the fault nodes

can be estimated by:

I O

PF 1 ; F 2 jI1 ; O2 P P 2 P1

F1

F2

PF 1 PF 2 PO1 jF 1 ; I1 PO2 jF 2 ; I2

I2 O1 PF 1 PF 2 PO1 jF 1 ; I 1 PO2 jF 2 ; I2

3:14

the determination of the fault combination/status maximizing the

posterior probability.

Another issue to consider is the distinction between what we

call abrupt faults and degradation faults. Abrupt faults are faults

that arise instantaneously (e.g. stuck-damper fault, reverse-actuator fault, etc.), while degradation faults evolve over time, becoming

progressively more severe (e.g. damper leakage, valve leakage,

etc.). From a modeling and diagnostics standpoint, abrupt faults

can be thought of as binary events [the fault either exists (1) or

not (0)], while degradation faults are more like events with an

associated severity level parameter. This means that, in the case

of degradation faults, another parameter (fault stage) is required

to include the characteristics of the fault and its effects. Thus, we

enhance the diagnostic algorithm in Fig. 2 (Graph A) and Eq.

(3.4) by adding another node (stage node) to capture such dynamics (Fig. 2, Graph B). If a fault is a degradation fault, the stage node

species its severity level, and the system output is inuenced by

both the fault and its severity level. If the fault is an abrupt fault,

the severity will become just an identity matrix. Then, Eq. (3.4)

can be modied as:

PFjE

P

P

L PFPLjFPEjF; L

PF; LjE P P

L

F

L PFPLjFPEjF; L

3:13

where L = {l1, l2, l3, . . . , ln} is various severity levels. P(F) is the fault

prior. P(L|F) is the severity prior for each fault. Again, statistical or

intuitive approaches can be employed for the estimation of severity

priors. Here, we consider a uniform distribution for severity priors.

P(E|F,L) is, again, the likelihood function: the probability of observing E given the fault condition F and severity level L.12

The last issue to discuss is how the proposed algorithm can be

extended systematically to address measurement constraints. As

mentioned earlier, one of the challenges in air handling unit diagnostics is the absence of reliable measurements for MAT, which

forces us to rely on SAT to evaluate the functionality of both the

mixing box and heating/cooling coils.

For such scenarios, the proposed diagnostic algorithm (Bayesian

model) can be expanded to a model with a mixture of components

in which missing measurements are considered to be hidden variables (nodes) and the posterior probability is estimated by summing over all possible values of the hidden nodes.

12

To avoid complexity and present the equations in a more clear structure, we use

the Fig. 2 (Graph A) model as our reference for further derivations. However, all the

equations can be systematically expanded to the Fig. 2 (Graph B) format using

Equation (3.13).

The elements in Eq. (3.14) are either component fault priors (e.g.

P(Fi)) or a component likelihood function (e.g. P(Oi|Fi, li)). For each

measurement, the estimation of the posterior probability of each

fault combination involves considering all possible values of the

hidden (unknown) variable(s) and computing the posterior probability in each case. This has a higher computational complexity

compared to the scenarios where there is no hidden variable, especially if there are two, three, or more hidden variables. Also, note

that, in the case of a mixture of components, diagnostics are performed with less information available (some variables are not

measured and considered hidden). As we will see in the illustrative

examples in Section 4, this does not come for free. There will be

some penalty /cost for the diagnostic process that may affect diagnostic efciency.

4. Illustrative examples

In this section, we apply the proposed algorithm to air handling

unit diagnostics. We rst start with single component diagnostics

to demonstrate the capability of the proposed diagnostic algorithm

in detecting/isolating faults, handling concurrent faults, and dealing with modeling uncertainty/error. Then, we will consider mixture component scenarios to show how the algorithm can

systematically manage measurement constraint issues.

Example 1 Diagnosis of mixing box: As mentioned earlier, a mixing box mixes the air returning from the building with the outside

air based on the ratio dened by the control system (Fig. 1). The ratio is specied to minimize the energy required to heat up or cool

down the supply air and to satisfy the standard fresh air required

for occupants. A mixing box consists of three dampers: the outside

air damper, return air damper, and exhaust air damper (Fig. 1),

manipulated by one actuator in which the outside air and return

dampers operate in opposite directions. Mixing box malfunction

is a common fault in air handling unit operation. The malfunction

could be due to the leakage of the outside or return air dampers

(not fully closed in the 0% closing command position), the reverse

operation of the actuator, stuck damper(s), and so on.

Mixing box performance is usually analyzed by a dimensionless

parameter [44] outside air fraction (OAF), which is the ratio of the

difference between the mixed air temperature (MAT) and the return air temperature (RAT) over the difference between the outside

air temperature (OAT) and the return air temperature (RAT).

OAF

MAT RAT

OAT RAT

4:1

353

Fig. 4. Mixing box model (OAF variations versus OA damper) in non-faulty and various faulty conditions; Graph A is the operation under the non-faulty condition. Graph B is

related to the reverse-actuator fault condition, Graph C is an outside-air-damper-leakage fault, and Graph D is a return-air-damper-leakage fault.

temperature on the mixed air temperature. It is ideally one

when the outside air damper is fully open (meaning that the

mixed air temperature is completely affected by the outside air

temperature variations) and zero when the damper is closed.

The variations of OAF versus damper positions in non-faulty

and several faulty conditions are shown in Fig. 4. In each graph,

the envelope shows the possible values for OAF given the damper position. As you see, each damper position is projected to a

range of possible values for OAF. The range is wider for middle

positions and narrower at the corners. This range, which is the

uncertainty range or modeling error, is due to variations of

parameters such as uid resistance, thermal resistance, and so

on, that are not easily measurable. In fact, Fig. 4 shows simplied models of the mixing box and various faulty and non-faulty

conditions.

The dynamics shown in Fig. 4 can be simulated by a random

variable, N(l, r) with a Gaussian distribution in which l and r

are dened as a linear combination of a set of basis functions:

l a1 f1 a2 f2 a3 f3

r2 b1 f1 b2 f2 b3 f3

f1 1;

f2

DMP

;

100

f 3 DMP=1002

where DMP is the outside air damper position. For example, a set of

possible values for a1, a2, a3 and b1, b2, b3 in non-faulty operation

(Graph 1 in Fig. 4) could be:

a1 0; a2 1; a3 0

b1 0;

b2 1;

b3 1

For each operating condition (various faulty and non-faulty conditions), a and b can be estimated through maximizing the likelihood

function of N(l, r) provided IID samples. However, as shown in Eqs.

(3.9), (3.10), (3.11), (3.12), the likelihood function of such a model is

a concave function, which means that a convex optimization

354

Fig. 5. Mixing box operation and diagnostic results. The upper graph shows the variations of OAT, RAT, MAT, and outside air damper position (DMP). SAT is used as a proxy for

MAT after correcting for the fan temperature rise. The lower graph shows the diagnostic assessment. As shown, the mixing box has a return-air-damper-leakage fault.

algorithm can be employed to locate the global maxima and estimate a and b numerically.

Applying the diagnostic model shown in Fig. 2A for mixing box

diagnostics, the input node contains the damper position and return and outside air temperatures, and the output node contains

OAF. Data from air handling unit operation at an experimental

facility, the Iowa Energy Center,13 was obtained to evaluate the performance of the diagnostic algorithm. During the test, faults were

deliberately induced to the system for analysis purposes.

An example of the mixing box operation, which contains the

variations of OAT, RAT, and MAT, as well as outside air damper position (DMP), is shown in Fig. 5 (upper graph).14 Note that, due to

poor mixing in most mixing boxes, SAT has been used as a proxy

for MAT after correcting for the fan temperature rise.15 Also, keep

in mind that the outside and return air dampers operate in opposite

directions and are controlled by one actuator.

A visual inspection of Fig. 6 (upper graph) would indicate an

abnormality in the mixing box operation. When the DMP is fully

closed, MAT is very close to RAT (as expected); however, when

the DMP is fully open, there is a gap between MAT and OAT, indi-

13

The Iowa Energy Center is an experimental facility for research, demonstration,

and education in building HVAC systems, energy efciency, and conservation (http://

www.energy.iastate.edu/).

14

The air handling unit has a design air ow of 3200 CFM with a draw-through

supply fan. Both the supply fan and the return fan motors are in stream. The design

supply fan pressure rise is 3.25 inches of water, and the return Fan pressure rise is 1.7

in. of water.

15

The fan temperature rise can be calculated by equating the increase in the

sensible heat content of the air stream to the sum of the uid work done by the fan

and the heat produced by the inefciency of the fan and other associated

components: DT dCDpPg where DP is the total pressure rise across the fan, d is the

density of air, Cp is the specic heat of air, g is the combined efciency of the fan

components in the air stream (typically the fan, belt, and motor). DP can be obtained

from the design pressure rise [usually available from test and balance (TAB)

measurements] and the efciency of the fan + motor is available from manufacturers

literature, mechanical drawings, etc. In general, the fan temperature rise is about one

degree or so. For instance, in this example, DP is 3.2 in. of water, and the efciency is

0.76, which leads to a fan temperature increase of around 1. 5 F. More can be found

in Haves [17].

cating that MAT is not solely inuenced by OAT but by RAT as well.

This suggests that the return air damper is not fully closed and has

a leakage fault.

The diagnostic result is shown in Fig. 5 (lower graph). As predicted, the system has a return-air-damper-leakage fault.16 Initially, the diagnostic mechanism makes a vague assessment

regarding most faults. Earlier assessments are inuenced signicantly by the fault prior assessments. As more data is observed,

the diagnostic belief moves away from prior belief and gets closer

to the true belief (empirical distribution). Another interesting point

is how the diagnostic mechanism nalizes its assessment. As we

know, return-air-damper-leakage faults cannot be condently conrmed unless the mixing box operates at (or near) the 100% outside

air damper position (which would be a 0% return air damper position). As shown in the gure, the mechanism does not nalize its

assessment regarding the return-air-damper-leakage fault until it

observes the system performance at around the 100% outside air

damper position.

The probability graphs shown in Fig. 5 are marginal probabilities calculated by Eq. (3.3). At each sampling time, the posterior

probability of each fault combination is rst computed based on

the current and previous observations, P(f1 . . . fn|e1 . . . ei). With the

assumption of IID sampling, the computation can be achieved

using Eq. (3.5). After the computation of posterior probabilities,

the marginal probability of each fault is computed using Eq. (3.3).

Example 2 Concurrent faults: In this example, we consider a

concurrent fault scenario in the mixing box. The mixing box characteristics are the same as in the previous example, and its operation is shown in Fig. 6 (upper graph). It may not be as easy as in the

previous example to detect faults by visual inspection. However,

the graph indicates that, as the DMP closes, MAT gets closer to

OAT instead of RAT, which suggests a reverse-actuator fault. In

addition, when the outside air damper is completely closed, there

is still a gap between MAT and OAT, which is a red ag for a leakage

16

In fact, a 10% return-air damper-leakage fault was intentionally induced to the

system.

355

Fig. 6. Mixing box operation and diagnostic results. The upper graph shows the mixing box operation. The lower graph shows the diagnostic analysis. In this example, the

mixing box has two concurrent faults: reverse-actuator and return-air-damper-leakage faults.

the existence of reverse-actuator and return-air-damper-leakage

faults.17

Keep in mind that, initially, the diagnostic algorithm starts with

a predened prior for each fault. As more data is observed, the

diagnostic belief moves away from the prior belief (prior fault distribution) to the true or empirical belief (distribution). This is why,

in Fig. 6 (lower graph), at the beginning, there is signicant probability for the existence of both outside-air-damper-leakage and

return-air-damper-leakage faults. The graph starts with the diagnostic assessment of the rst observation, which is a measurement

at 100% DMP. In a non-faulty operation when DMP is fully open,

MAT is expected to be close to OAT. However, as shown in the

graph, MAT is close to RAT instead. This indicates the existence

of fault(s). However, the algorithm does not have enough data

yet to identify the type of fault(s). Therefore, it assigns a very

low probability to the no-fault scenario (indicating that an abnormality exits) but keeps the probability of other faults at a signicant level. As it observes the system performance at other

operating points, it gets a better perspective regarding the fault

sources.

Example 3 Diagnostics of the heating coil: As mentioned, the

heating (cooling) system has the task of heating (cooling) the supply air. It is usually a nned tube heat-exchanger with hot (cold)

water on the hot (cold) side and air on the cold (hot) side. It normally contains one or a few sets of tubes mounted perpendicularly

on the ow of air passing through the coil. The heat transfer rate is

controlled by manipulating the valve adjusting the water ow rate

through the coil. Common operational faults include fouling of the

coil, leakage of the valve, reverse action of the valve actuator, stuck

valves, and so on.

In this example, we evaluate the heating coil performance

employing the proposed algorithm. The diagnostic model is shown

in Fig. 7. The inputs are Tair-in (temperature of incoming air), VLV

(valve position), Tw-in (temperature of incoming water), and CFM

17

A reverse actuator fault and around a ten percent return-air-damper-leakage fault

was induced in the system.

and the output is Tair-out (temperature of outgoing air). The simplied heat-exchanger model used is based on Holmes effectivenessNTU method model [18,21], briey described as (Fig. 7):

4:2

1 expNTU c

1 c expNTU 1 c

4:3

C min

; C min minC h ; C c ; C max maxC h ; C c

C max

4:4

Ch is the hot uid capacity rate; Cc is the cold uid capacity rate.

NTU

UA

;

Cm

1

;

rt

r t ra v 0:8

r m r w v 0:8

a

w

4:5

where va is the velocity of the air and vw is the velocity of the water.

In his paper, Holmes provided the suggested values for ra, rm, and rw.

Similar to the mixing box case, here we have used a simplied model of the heat exchanger, requiring parameters that can be obtained

356

Fig. 8. Heating coil operation and diagnostic results. The upper graph shows the variations of entering air temperature (T_air_in), entering water temperature (T_water_in),

outgoing air temperature (T_air_out), and valve position (Valve). The lower graph shows the diagnostic results. As shown, the coil has a valve-leakage fault.

fairly simple steady-state model for the simulation of heating and

cooling coils.

An operation of the heating coil is shown in Fig. 8 (upper graph),

and the diagnostics result is shown in Fig. 8 (lower graph). As

shown, there is a valve-leakage fault; however, the diagnostic

mechanism does not nalize its assessment about this fault until

it sees the system performance at around the 0% valve position.18

Example 4 Mixture of components: As the last example, we consider a simulated case of a mixture of components, an air handling

unit with a mixing box and a heating coil (Fig. 1), to show the effectiveness of the algorithm in dealing with measurement constraints.

Unlike previous examples in which SAT was inuenced by the

functionality of only one component, in this example, SAT is inuenced by the functionality of both the mixing box and the heating

coil. Following the mixture model framework shown in Fig. 3, the

diagnostic model of the air-handling unit is shown in Fig. 9. The

rst component is related to the mixing box, and the second component is related to the heating coil. MAT, which is the output of

the rst component and part of the inputs to the second component, is not measureable and is considered hidden (unknown).

The operation of each component is shown in Fig. 10 (upper

graph). As MAT is not available and the coils are not off, it is not

easy to analyze the components performance visually. The diagnostic results are shown in Fig. 10 (lower graph). The mixing box

has an outside-air-damper-leakage fault, while the heating coil is

non-faulty. Again, the probabilities shown in Fig. 10 are marginal

probabilities calculated using Eq. (2.3) from the computed posterior probability for each fault combination. In this mixture model,

MAT is missing (hidden), and the posterior probability is calculated

through summing over all possible values for MAT [the summation

in the nominator of Eq. (3.14) is over MAT].

18

A leakage fault of ve to ten percent was deliberately induced in the system. The

coil has 12 circuits, the tube inside diameter is 0.5 in., the face height is 1.93 ft, and

the face width is 3.33 ft. Also, the valve authority is 50% and the expected thermal

transfer at low ow for the valve-coil system at normal operation is shown in Table 1.

Fig. 9. Mixture of components diagnostic model for the air handling unit. The rst

component is related to the mixing box, and the second component is related to the

heating coil. MAT, which is the output of the rst component and part of the inputs

to the second component, is not measureable and is considered hidden (unknown).

fault improves signicantly after the time step of 50. In the graphs

for the component operations (upper graphs), the DMP and VLV are

both at 0% opening positions during this period. This is an ideal

operating condition for the diagnostic algorithm to check for leakage faults, and the diagnostic mechanism makes the best use out of

it. In addition, some faults such as the reverse operation or stuck

fault of either the damper or the valve are assessed readily by comparing leakage faults. Reverse or stuck types of faults, which are

also categorized as abrupt faults, can be assessed based on the relative changes of the system behavior. For example, when the heating valve opens up, we expect an increase in the supply air

temperature; if the opposite is observed, we would quickly red-ag

a reverse fault. That is why these types of faults are assessed readily. On the other hand, the assessment of leakage faults requires

observation of the system performance at certain operating points

and quantitative analysis against the predicted performance.

Therefore, they would not be assessed as quickly as abrupt faults.

Comparing the diagnostic results in Figs. 5, 6, 8 and 10, in the

case of Fig. 10, the diagnostic algorithm takes more time to reach

a solid conclusion regarding the system health status. This is the

357

Table 1

Expected thermal transfer at low ow for the value-coil system.

Valve % open

Thermal transfer % (Q/Qmax)

3

7.1

6

13.2

9

18.8

12

24

15

28.9

18

33.4

21

37.7

24

41.7

27

45.5

30

49.1

Fig. 10. Air handling unit operation and diagnostic results. The upper graphs show the operation of the mixing box and the heating coil and the lower graphs show the

diagnostic results.

penalty paid for the absence of MAT. As the algorithm relies on SAT

to interpret the functionality of both the mixing box and the heating coil, the uncertainty associated with each component model is

aggregated into SAT readings. In this case, the algorithm requires

more data, which basically means more time, to make a solid

assessment. In other scenarios, the constraint may affect the condence level of the diagnostic assessment.

The last issue to discuss is sensor error. Normally, in air-handling units, sensor error could be up to 2 F. The question is

how this would affect the diagnostic performance. In general, as

the diagnostic algorithm is less dependent on measurement at

any individual point and takes into account the system behavioral

pattern over a window of operation, it has more exibility in dealing with sensor errors. We know that the algorithm already takes

into account some level of uncertainty/error due to the employment of simplied models. To account for sensor error in a systematic way, the uncertainty can be expanded to include both

modeling errors and sensor errors, such as in the likelihood function. If the employed mode is an extension of an analytical model

with added uncertainty, the sensor error can be included as part of

the analytical process. If other statistical procedures are used to develop the model, the sensor error can be assumed to be statistically

independent and aggregated accordingly. One easy way could be to

think of the sensor error as a random variable with normal distribution (or a distribution recommended by the sensor manufacturer), add that to the modeling error random variable, and

compute the joint variance.

Incorporation of sensor error results in a higher level of uncertainty associated with each measurement. As a result, the diagnostic mechanism would require more data to reach a solid

impact on the system performance. If a fault effect is within the

uncertainty range dened by the modeling and sensor errors, the

algorithm cannot distinguish between deviations in the system

performance due to the fault occurrence and those coming from

modeling and sensor error. For instance, if, in the rst example, a

2 F sensor error had been considered for MAT and RAT, OAF could

have an error of 40% or more when the difference between MAT

and RAT was less than 10 F. This means that, if the effect of a return-air-damper-leakage fault were less than 3 or 4 F, it would be

non-detectable, and the diagnostic result would be inconclusive

between no-fault and a return-air-damper-leakage fault.

5. Conclusion

Relying on accurate or detailed models and requiring the measurement of parameters/variables that are not easily measureable/

accessible in practical applications have been the main drawbacks

of diagnostic solutions for air handling units from the scalability

and affordability perspectives. The aim of this paper was to develop diagnostic algorithms that are less dependent on model accuracy and more exible with respect to measurement constraints.

In the proposed diagnostic algorithm, we think of fault diagnostics

as the process of analyzing a system behavioral pattern (observed

performance) and comparing it with a set of hypothetical patterns

to nd the closest match. Each hypothetical pattern is developed

based on the assumption of the existence of none, one or more

faults in the system. We demonstrated how such a problem can

be formulated as a posterior estimation problem of a Bayesian

358

model. It was shown how effective the problem diagnostic algorithm could be in detecting/isolating faults, dealing with measurement constraint challenges, and managing the complexity of

concurrent faults.

Although the focus of this paper was on air handling unit diagnostics, we believe that the proposed algorithm has the potential

to be applied in other applications with similar restrictions. Further

research and development may be required for more complex scenarios. A commercial building, for example, contains several air

handling units and other components, which increases the system

complexity as a network of components. Research needs to be

done to determine what challenges exist because of the added

complexity (for example, dimensionality) and what further development might be needed to make the proposed approach applicable to such systems.

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