Common Faults and Their Prioritization in Small Commercial Buildings

Stephen Frank, Janghyun Kim, Jie Cai, James Braun

    Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


    This study documents faults that are commonly found in small commercial buildings based on a literature review and discussions with building commissioning experts. It also provides a list of prioritized faults based on an estimation of the prevalence, energy impact, and financial impact of each fault. A total of 39 faults were analyzed for this paper and classified by location, stage, and type. The technical complexity of detecting each type of fault based on typically available information was evaluated for each fault. The annual energy impact (AEI) and annual financial impact (AFI) of each fault were estimated based on available information. Based on these estimates, 20 top priority faults were identified. Seven out of the 20 top priority faults occur in vapor compression systems such as air-conditioning, heat pump, and refrigeration equipment. Nonstandard charging, condenser, and evaporator fouling are the most important faults for this type of equipment.
    Original languageAmerican English
    Number of pages15
    StatePublished - 2018
    EventInternational High Performance Buildings Conference - West Lafayette, Indiana
    Duration: 9 Jul 201812 Jul 2018


    ConferenceInternational High Performance Buildings Conference
    CityWest Lafayette, Indiana

    Bibliographical note

    Available in online conference proceedings:

    NREL Publication Number

    • NREL/CP-3500-73176


    • common faults
    • energy and cost impact
    • small commercial buildings


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