Smart Building Laboratories and Field Test Beds

PKI 119

This laboratory is one of the largest and most sophisticated testing facilities configured for Automated Fault Detection and Diagnosis (AFDD) research, which mainly consists of 1) two psychrometric chambers, 2) a mobile test stand for packaged or unitary building energy systems, and 3) sophisticated controls and data acquisition systems. Since February 2008, faculty and students have performed more than 2000 hours of controlled testing. Testing capabilities of this space has attracted over 20 industrial partners including Target Corporation, Simon Property, Facility Solution Group, Tenaska, Accenture, AT&T, IBM, GE, Lennox International, Johnson Controls, Sensus MI, Richard Zeta, and Control Technologies.

Sponsors: Target, Sensus M.I. and Facility Solution Group
Equipment donator: Lennox International
Construction/Equipment Costs: $250,000
Outdoor Chamber: 25' x 20' x 13'
Indoor Chamber: 15' x 20' x 13'
Outdoor Unit: 13 ton cooling and 70 kW heating
Testing Unit: 7.5 ton cooling and 40 kW heating
Controls: RZ mediator, 2 RZ 100 controllers, and 120 sensors
Cable: 2000 ft multi-paired control cables


Capabilities: Full control of outdoor climate for anytime and anywhere. Full control of indoor temperature, humidity, IAQ, pressure and occupancy. Ability to test various types and brands of unitary HVAC&R equipment. Ability to test various kinds of control, optimization, and AFDD algorithms

Ability to test more than 20 different kinds of faults and non-optimal operations, including:

  1.) Refrigerant overcharge, 2) Refrigerant low charge, 3) compressor valve leakage, 4) liquid restriction, 5) reverse valve leakage, 6) check valve leakage, 7) non-condensible gas, 8) condenser fouling, 9) evaporator fouling, 10) slipping fan belt, 11) dirty filter, 12) economizer fault, 13) sensor out of calibration or failure, 14) Cooling stage failure, 15) heating stage failure, 16) set point doesnot meet, 17) exhaust fan failure, 18) under pressurization, 19) over pressurization, 20) damper leakage, 21) freezing coil, 22) compressor cycling, 23) fan cycling, and others