Development of a Simulated Air Handling Unit Fault Dataset for FDD Tools: Lessons Learned and Considerations for FDD Developers
As energy management and information systems (e.g., automated fault detection and diagnostics [AFDD] tools) become more prevalent in the commercial building stock, it is important to determine the effectiveness of these technologies by benchmarking their performance. The authors have been working to develop the largest publicly available dataset of HVAC fault data for performance benchmarking applications, covering the most common HVAC systems and designs including chiller plants, rooftop packaged units, dual duct air handling units and single duct air handling units. This study covers the development, modeling, and validation of a synthetic fault dataset for a single duct air handling unit (AHU), one of the most common HVAC configurations found in the commercial building stock. Despite this being a common system, real-world time series data are scarce and usually do not span a wide range of weather conditions. Due to this limitation, a detailed AHU model was employed to carry out annual simulations of numerous common sensor and mechanical faults, which were then validated by comparing their effects on system performance to expected symptoms. We summarize the nature of each fault and their impacts under different weather and operation conditions. Finally, we highlight considerations for FDD developers that may want to use this dataset to assess their algorithms’ performance and their improvement over time.