Demonstrating a fault diagnostic method in an automated, computer-controlled HVAC process

Jouko Pakanen

Research output: Book/ReportReport

2 Citations (Scopus)


A demonstration system, designed for testing and developing fault diagnostic methods in a real building and HVAC process, places a designer close to technical problems that do not exist in a simulation environment. This paper presents such a demonstration system, and finds new solutions to a few practical problems confronted in developing the system into a fault diagnostic product. The demonstration system consists of a building energy management system interfaced to an air handling process, modified by an embedded computer program executing the diagnostic procedures. Although not yet a prototype, the demonstration system already contains a lot of typical features of a diagnostic product. In order to evaluate such features an assessment method is proposed. It points out possible problems of the system and gives new viewpoints for further developing the prototype and finishing the actual diagnostic product. Fault detection and isolation is based on an on-line diagnostic test (ODT), which is a series of control and monitoring actions applied to a process. Performing an on-line diagnostic test means exciting the automated process by means of prescribed input signals, disturbances or loads, supervising responses and comparing results with a process model. The ODT is an uncomplicated diagnostic method for finding distinct and abrupt changes in a process but not for detection of slow degradations and gradual faults. This paper presents a new and straightforward procedure for fault isolation, in which learning algorithms of fault patterns are not necessary.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationEspoo
PublisherVTT Technical Research Centre of Finland
Number of pages51
ISBN (Electronic)951-38-5868-5
ISBN (Print)951-38-5867-7
Publication statusPublished - 2001
MoE publication typeD4 Published development or research report or study

Publication series

SeriesVTT Publications


  • fault diagnostics
  • fault detection
  • test methods
  • buildings
  • HVAC
  • simulation
  • energy economy
  • air handling
  • assessment
  • air conditioning
  • monitoring
  • heating
  • computer programs


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