Characterization and Survey of Automated Fault Detection and Diagnostics Tools

Stephen Frank, Jessica Granderson, Rupam Singla, Ebony Mayhorn, Paul Ehrlich, Draguna Vrabie

Research output: NRELTechnical Report


It is estimated that 5%-30% of the energy used in commercial buildings is wasted due to faults and errors in the operation of the control system. Tools that are able to automatically identify and isolate these faults offer the potential to greatly improve performance, and to do so cost effectively. This document characterizes the diverse landscape of these automated fault detection and diagnostic (AFDD) technologies, according to a common framework that captures key distinguishing features and core elements. To understand the diversity of technologies that provide AFDD, a framework was developed to capture key elements to distinguish the functionality and potential application of one offering from another. The AFDD characterization framework was applied to 14 currently available technologies, comprising a sample of market offerings. These 14 technologies largely represent solutions that integrate with building automation systems, that use temporary in field measurements, or that are implemented as retrofit add-ons to existing equipment. To characterize them, publicly available information was gathered from product brochures and websites, and from technical papers. Additional information was acquired through interviews and surveys with the developers of each AFDD tool. The study concludes with a discussion of technology gaps, needs for the commercial sector, and promising areas for future development.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages29
StatePublished - 2017

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/TP-5500-70534

Other Report Number

  • LBNL-2001075


  • automated fault detection
  • commercial buildings
  • control system


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