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Part 2: Building Automation: Document Commissioning for New Installations
By Doug Yon, P.E.
April 2011 -
Managers need to be involved in developing the master plan and need to be able to comment on the existing master or template BAS design, construction, and commissioning processes and specifications. Their post-installation experience is invaluable in providing guidance for future specification and development of new controls and system integration.
Their input also can help develop guidelines for standardization, design, construction, and commissioning, as well as assess the anticipated impact of potential future BAS technology improvements, including wireless and cloud technology and new web-based and open-architecture BAS technology with legacy systems and components.
The continuing evaluation of the BAS support systems and processes is critical to developing a successful roadmap for BAS upgrades. The evaluation should include preventive maintenance (PM) for BAS end-point and control devices. PM activity should take place in conjunction with controlled equipment and systems. An inventory of on-site BAS components and spare parts is an important step in this process. If a BAS-related maintenance and service contract exists, the service provider should provide and maintain this inventory.
Planning for BAS support service also might require that managers involve other facility services not directly a part of the maintenance team. For example, it is essential to document and assess existing and future needs related to the power supply and back-up power systems for the BAS. The service provider might be able to help review and coordinate existing technology services, such as current and future capabilities and expansion capacity related to BAS interoperability and support.
Managers need to document the process of commissioning for new installations. Key considerations related to system commissioning include: performing point-by-point verification of systems; verifying system sequences; checking trends in logs; and testing alarms.
The commissioning process starts with verifying the control inputs and outputs on a point-to-point basis. Technicians should calibrate each analog input and output using an independent and certified measurement device for temperature, pressure, etc. They also should test the sequences of operation in all normal modes and verify them against the intended functionality.
When possible, they should use an offline program simulation on equipment before actual program operation. They also should perform loop tuning for all analog outputs under operating conditions, and they should test alarms, safeties, failure, and system restart modes.
Upgrades to Building-Automation Systems
Part 1: BAS Upgrades: Develop a Master Plan
Part 3: BAS Upgrades: Consider Staffing and Training Needs
Part 4: BAS Upgrades: Balance Sustainability with Functionality