The objective of a building automation system, or Energy Management System (EMS), is to achieve an optimal level of building HVAC system control and occupant comfort while minimizing energy use. These control systems are the integrating component to fans, pumps, heating/cooling equipment, dampers, mixing boxes, and thermostats. Monitoring and optimizing temperature, pressure, humidity, and flow rates are key functions of modern building control systems.
The major advantage of an EMS is to precisely control the heating and cooling of a space to meet code requirements for ventilation and provide optimum occupant comfort while conserving energy. An EMS continuously processes information gathered from field points to precisely monitor and automate the operation of a building’s HVAC system using programmed logic and algorithms.
An important feature that an EMS provides is the ability to schedule the heating and cooling of the building reliably. This allows both the temperature of a room as well as its specific period of occupancy time to be pre-determined and programmed to reduce overall energy consumption and cost without compromising comfort. This function, coupled with a plan to only operate building HVAC systems when needed, can have a significant impact on reducing the energy cost of a university. It has been determined that the conditioned space on the TAMU campus is cooled and heated between 96% and 98% of the time. This means that even when buildings are unoccupied, energy is still consumed at or near the same level as when occupied. With an EMS installed and ongoing emphasis on reducing consumption, the buildings can be more proactively scheduled to reduce cost.
Utilities and Energy Management at Texas A&M operates and maintains an EMS that manages over 12 million GSF. The system encompasses over 200 buildings with over 163,000 control points.