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AEI FlatCube

We put your multi-channel energy data into clear view with this powerful analysis tool.

One FlatCube can let you visualize weeks or months of 15-minute energy data for a dozen or more related channels in a single concise and interactive analysis tool.

Energy assets with multiple channels of trended sensor data are difficult to visually represent in a meaningful way that clearly explains how a boiler, chiller, AHU or other large system is operating. The AEI FlatCube solves this problem with a unique visualization technique that shows the simultaneous states of a dozen or more channels of related data. Combined with a powerful and intuitive way to filter multiple channels, it's possible to inspect the simultaneous values for any number of conditions including time-of-day and day-of-week.

An interactive AEI FlatCube visualization is a standard part of our deliverable to you in any BAS energy data analytics engagement. For complicated HVAC and other large energy-intense assets there is simply no better way to understand how the system is operating. A single FlatCube visualizes a dozen or more channels of coincident 15-minute interval data from your building automation system in one concise and interactive exploratory tool.

Clear Benefits

Integral to our data analysis services, an AEI FlatCube presents your data in a logical interactive tool which lets us have the discussion about how your energy systems are operating. How often is the AHU operating while outdoor temperatures are in the 70°F to 75°F range? Are the command and status values for a hot water pump in agreement? Is the damper acutator responding appropriately given the range of fresh air requirements in the building? All of these questions and more can be answered with this one core visualization.

The benefit should be clear - the only alternative for insight into how your systems are operating would be a collection of spreadsheets with hundreds and thousands of rows of data, the need for crazy manipulations with pivot tables or other add-on software and still, you'd have to repeat the entire process to ask or answer a different question. The power of the AEI FlatCube is to break down the barriers to clear and concise understanding of the enery-consuming assets in your facility. Combined with periodic updates from your building automation system, we deliver an energy service that let's you track performance over time for the duration of our engagement.

How it Works

In a typical XY or XYZ plot, it's only possible to examine 2 or 3 channels of simultaneous data. Given that an n-sided cube is difficult to visually display and comprehend, the AEI FlatCube effectively unfolds and flattens the n sides of the "cube" so that each channel of data is seen on a separate axis in a two-dimensional space. Think of this as unfolding an n-sided cube so that it can be projected onto a two-dimensional surface. In the projection, each intersection of a line with a vertical axis represents the value of that axis' channel at a moment in time. Horizontal lines connect the different channel values for the same moment in time.

This example shown at right displays hourly average values for over 4 months of data collected from a Variable Air Volume (VAV) HVAC component with 10 channels of data. Seven of the channels come from the physical sensors on the equipment, and 3 channels are derived values from the known date and time for each data point as recorded by the energy management system that captures and time stamps the sensor data. This equates to over 25,000 individual data values which would be difficult to present using typical data presentation tools.

Each channel of data is represented by one vertical axis. Each contiguous curved line represents a single specific hour in the four month period and intersects each axis at the hourly average value of the channel at that specific hour in the period.

The power of the AEI FlatCube is enhanced when the user filters one or more channels for certain desirable or undesirable ranges of values. Filtering is done by clicking and dragging vertically on one or more axes, otherwise known as "brushing" the data. Specific combinations of filtered channel data have meaning in the energy world, and by filtering for those combinations, the energy manager can inspect the coincident values of the other channels and make determinations about how the equipment is being operated.

The "Total Selected" radial graphic in the upper right shows a rough indication of the percentage of data that meets the filtered condition. The "Group Breakdown" shows the relative percents of one or more arbitrary categories; In this case the chart is color-coded for Weekend data and Weekday data to make it easier for the user to visually separate weekend operation from weekday. The Group Breakdown shows the relative proportion of each category after any filters are applied.

General Use and Reusability

Our deployment of the AEI FlatCube is such that it is integrated into our services to you with the flexibility to be responsive to a wide range of data and time periods. We can deliver an individual FlatCube visualization for each of the large energy assets in your project, with the versatility of automatic data updates as new BAS data arrives. The ability to choose sensors and date ranges quickly and dynamically means that the FlatCube is configured and delivering energy management insight on a quick, flexible, and recurring basis at the same time it efficiently handles tens of thousands of individual data points.

Contact Us for more information about how your data can be applied to the FlatCube diagnostic.

 

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