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Maintaining & Optimizing Energy Efficiency: Automotive Testing Laboratory

Joe Napieralski, Johnson Controls


The drive to develop more energy efficient automotive test labs requires a sustained effort by many different parties. Traditionally much of the attention regarding energy savings has focused on the up-front design and construction process. However, equally important is the planning that goes into how the labs will be operated and maintained. This presentation will focus on operation and maintenance strategies that will demonstrate how to maintain, optimize, and verify energy savings throughout the life of the facility.

Up-Front Engineering Involvement: Optimizing the operation and maintenance of a test lab begins in the early design phase. It is crucial that lab users and designers work as a team to choose the appropriate technologies and design criteria that will be efficient from both an energy and maintenance perspective. Therefore, insuring that energy savings are maximized and not lost to increases in operational cost.

Commissioning: Actual operation of an energy efficient test lab starts with verifying that installed systems meet the design intent. By developing and executing a comprehensive commissioning plan up-front, users can identify and correct system shortfalls before they lead to energy and operational inefficiencies.

Performance Assurance: Developing the processes and team to benchmark energy usage and savings is critical. By having an understanding of past energy trends, users can make operational adjustments that optimize energy savings. Documentation of these savings shows how optimal operation can push a facility's energy savings well beyond design levels.

Proactive & Predictive Maintenance: While decreasing downtime is the major focus and savings for predictive maintenance, energy savings are also an attractive secondary benefit. Planned maintenance and service keeps equipment running at design conditions thereby optimizing energy efficiency.

It is our intent to explore these strategies in greater detail, and to help show how a detailed operations and maintenance plan can take energy efficiency to new levels for automotive testing facilities.


Joe Napieralski has B.S. in electrical engineering from Michigan Technological University with a focus in control theory and signal processing. He is currently employed as a Construction Account Manager for Johnson Controls in Detroit, MI where he focuses on the automotive and industrial markets. His primary responsibilities include assisting the local design community in developing energy efficient building automation systems for new construction and retrofit projects and working with building owners to implement energy efficient maintenance and operations strategies for their facilities.

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