Clockworks Analytics Spotlight: Meg Cantwell

February 23, 2024

Meet Meg. Meg is a Digital Building Engineer at Clockworks Analytics.

Meg works with onsite technicians to configure Clockworks so operations and engineering teams can use diagnostic results to improve the operations of their facilities. While mapping Clockworks’ client sites onto the platform, Digital Building Engineers like Meg work with onsite technicians to understand the nuances of their buildings to ensure their complex HVAC control systems are accurately represented in the tool.

An engineer, analyst, and product expert all-in-one, Meg meets with technicians and engineers to understand how their buildings are intended to operate so she can configure those nuanced sequences correctly in the Clockworks platform. This information gathering process, itself, can uncover some interesting findings.

Meg needed to better understand the functional sequence of an air handling unit (AHU), so she reviewed the diagnostics with the facilities technician to show how the AHU behaved which provided the rationale that necessitated her clarification. While reviewing the diagnostics with a technician, Meg noticed a relative humidity “jumping sensor” error on an AHU and noted the error on their clarifications call.

So how did the technician respond to this keen observation? He had an a-ha moment! Turns out, the technician and the rest of his team suspected that the relative humidity sensor readings in this space were inaccurate because of their location.

In fact, the local team had been engaged in an on-going effort to relocate the relative humidity sensors from the walls to the return air ducts to ensure better accuracy of the sensors. Applied directly to the walls, it was likely that the relative humidity sensors had lingering liquid droplets on them from wall washing, which occurs in this facility. As a result, the sensors logged artificially frequent and artificially large jumps in the space’s relative humidity, which Clockworks’ diagnostic identified as a “jumping sensor” error.

In addition to the diagnostics’ “jumping sensor” error being valuable to the site in its ongoing effort to relocate relative humidity sensors, the diagnostic itself provided evidence that the AHU was, in fact, responding to this erroneous sensor reading as if the reading was correct. The data suggested that the AHU likely bounced in and out of dehumidification mode in response to this likely erroneous sensor reading.

Dehumidification mode can be one of the most energy intensive modes for an AHU, where typically both heating and cooling coils are allowed to open, also known as simultaneous heating and cooling, to reduce downstream relative humidity. Often, simultaneous heating and cooling is considered an energy inefficient operation, but the behavior is allowed under very specific circumstances, one of which being dehumidification.

“Having the ability to filter the diagnostics to determine which AHUs had sensor errors would be valuable for the onsite team,” said Meg. “They were already working on an effort to move the relative humidity sensors from the walls and into the return air ducts, so the data help support that decision.”

More than just a data dashboard, Clockworks Analytics—and the people like Meg that ensure the accuracy of the platform’s diagnostics —helps onsite technicians and engineers take insights and turn them into action.

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