Geosyntec Consultants and the University of North Carolina Charlotte (UNCC) worked with Robins Air Force Base (AFB) in Warner Robins, Georgia, to pilot a behavior-based Climate Management System (CMS) to provide real-time energy use information and feedback to personnel at the Building 59 (B59) Corrosion Control Facility (CCF). As with many large industrial facilities, different tasks at B59 require different moisture content, air flow, temperature and other parameters to optimize the conditions for the given task. Minimizing energy use in CCFs can be especially challenging because of the intensity and breadth of environmental control requirements including (i) lighting control; (ii) generating hot water and steam; (iii) providing breathing air; (iv) removing hazardous air pollutants; (v) heating; (vi) cooling and (vii) meeting air flow standards, all changing with work flow. It is important to manage this energy use carefully.

Technology Description

The CMS was designed to identify and realize energy savings by alerting operators to place the building in the most appropriate mode for the task being performed. Currently, it appears that operators often use excessively energy-intensive modes because of a general lack of awareness. CMS desktop software was installed on paint shift supervisor desktops and dashboards were displayed on monitors installed in a highly visible location, the hallway outside the office of the painting supervisor that is immediately next to the entrance to the hangar. The CMS thus provided an opportunity to extract energy savings from improved energy management in real time rather than from issues arising from inherent system inefficiencies. 

Demonstration Results

Analysis of the data indicate that the CMS did not change the behaviors of B59 staff and thus energy consumption did not achieve the performance targets. However, the potential energy savings at B59 are still significant, and estimated to be on the order of 17% of fan energy and 10% of chiller-energy.

Implementation Issues

The primary implementation issue during the demonstration period was the general lack of usage of the CMS. Despite frequent visits by the project team and solicitation of feedback on the performance of the system, it appears that the CMS did not in and of itself result in a change in organizational behavioral modification. It is believed that quickly after installation of the digital signs, fatigue set in and the dashboards and reports developed became something that did not trigger attention.