Data Center Journal

Volume 30 | February 2014

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THE DATA CENTER JOURNAL | 9 to simulate various normal and emergency operating conditions and systematically test the functionality. is is a process that requires your controls integrator and contractors to par- ticipate with the commissioning agent. As the consequences of failure are identified, the controls can be optimized for your custom system. is process culminates in fully inte- grated system testing; this is when the real fun begins. It is during this exercise that the unexpected is revealed and remedied to guard against failures once in operation. Abbreviating integrated systems testing or deviating from what will be realized during expected conditions is highly undesirable. A word of advice – don't deviate in the slightest! Controls systems can be significantly "tuned" through the course of this process. Identifying opportunities to improve functional performance, adjusting the graphical interface content and navigation, and making the system as intuitive as pos- sible are all areas where your commission- ing agent can help achieve great return on your investment. Equipment staging timers, set- tings, and temperature control loops are a natural fit for optimization. Consider this example: a pump stop sequence of opera- tion calls for the pump to slow down over a five minute period. It may be discovered during in- tegrated testing that slowing the pump down over one minute has no negative effect and actually decreases the severity and duration of a short-term temperature change in the chilled water system. Easy optimization is realized when focused on the opportunity. rough the course of rigorous test- ing and optimization, good documentation is critical. Failures now can be referenced later for indicators and important data during root cause analysis investigations. Trend logs obtained during test- ing provide helpful historical data when tweaking or augmenting your controls system later in the life of the facility. Building trend reports and documenting "normal" operating parameters provides a baseline. Referencing this baseline later can identify major anomalies or deviations indicative of system deterioration or hard- to-recognize failures. is documentation is an important record of commissioning that can help those who operate and maintain your con- trols system for many years to come. eDuCate opeRations Controls systems are too oen under or improperly utilized. It is very common that expensive automation systems are cir- cumvented and placed "in-hand" (manual mode) by the operators. is is a waste of automation intend- ed to improve reliability, energy efficiency, and provide you with valuable metrics. So why do the operators override the system? e answer is usually one of two things – either the system is overcomplicated or the operators were never trained on the functionality. Both of these can be overcome by way of involving your operators in the controls system commissioning process. It is at this stage that the operators will wit- ness system operating conditions that they will only see otherwise during emergency operating conditions. Witnessing the system relationships and cause of abnor- mal system conditions prepares them to respond when problems occur. ere is little substitute for learn- ing under these conditions where live operations are not yet at risk. In parallel, your facility's operators have the chance to weigh in on what is intuitive to them, what will help them operate efficiently and apply various tweaks that benefit future opera- tions and maintenance programs. ConClusion In a perfect world, controls systems would be neatly packaged and plug-and- play out of the box. e simple reality is, however, that very rarely are any two installations exactly the same and most solutions require customization. e goal is to have controls systems work for you and be a positive contributor to business continuity, workflow improve- ment, and other opportunities for OPEX savings. If your controls system is properly configured, integrated, and validated, it should be easy-to-use and provide you with reliable data and system performance. e fact is, speed-to-market de- mands puts us in a situation where we don't properly commission the controls system and realize its full value. We are selling ourselves short and typically pay for these shortcomings through outages, unnecessary maintenance, and operational and performance inefficiencies. e desired speed-to-market is achievable with good planning…that is, starting the controls commissioning pro- cess early in the project. Another word of advice, you cannot start too early. Ensuring stakeholder alignment, establishing checkpoints, and testing early are proven methods to avoid shortcuts during the late stages of controls system commissioning. Rigorous testing and corresponding documentation vet system issues and ultimately provide confidence that your system will perform as expected when most important. Integrate your facilities operations team with your controls system and optimize from the very beginning. ese oen overlooked aspects of controls com- missioning represent some of the greatest opportunity for improving reliability. As our buildings become increasing- ly "smarter," we have the chance to realize great opportunity by thoroughly commis- sioning our controls systems. Challenge yourself to unlock the possibilities. n th T a k e Y o u r N e t w o r k T o T h e H i g h e s t L e v e l TM PutÊtheÊLynx inÊYourÊNetwork Real-Time,ÊOn-SiteÊCableÊBuildsÊ&ÊTerminationsÊareÊNowÊMadeÊPossibleÉ Lynx2ÊCustomFit ¨ ÊSplice-OnÊConnectorsÊ(MPO,ÊSC,ÊLC,ÊFC,ÊandÊST) ContactÊCustomerÊServiceÊTodayÊatÊ800-358-7378 info@sumitomoelectric.comÊ|Ê ©Ê2013ÊSumitomoÊElectricÊLightwave.ÊAllÊrightsÊreserved.

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