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Incorporating Big Data & AI for Air Conditioning System for Smart Energy Saving

News on February 11, 2021

In her inaugural address last year, President Tsai Ing-wen declared that "accelerating the development of green energy and renewable energy industries" is one of the "six core strategic industries". Today, advanced countries around the world are all facing common problems such as increased peak loads, energy depletion, and greenhouse effect. In addition to the government's proactive promotion of green energy policies, Taiwan can take advantage of the semiconductor and information and communications industries to develop smart energy saving for all industrial applications. Taiwan Instrument Research Institute (TIRI) of National Applied Research Laboratories (NARLabs) implements the smart machinery project under the "Smart Machinery Industry Promotion Program" of the Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST), and cooperates with academic research teams to introduce smart energy-saving solutions to industry to improve the energy-saving effect of the manufacturing field.

According to Energy Bureau of the Ministry of Economic Affairs’ analysis, among the main energy-consuming equipment in Taiwan, air-conditioning equipment account for 47.9% of the annual electricity consumption, of which chiller is the main cause of electricity consumption. In view of this information, TIRI conducts energy-saving research on chiller. Through the establishment of an energy monitoring system with temperature and humidity meter, carbon dioxide detection, and lighting sensors to collect environmental and chiller related data. Using big data to analyze the operating efficiency of chiller, and re-plan the configuration of chiller to meet extreme operating requirements. Upgraded chiller system can increase operating performance by 30% in winter and ultimately reduce power consumption.

TIRI continues to develop machine learning and statistical approaches for big data analysis methods for establishing an expert system that can simulate the operation mode of chiller, analyze the important variables that affect the efficiency of chiller and then simulate the best configuration of chiller. At the same time, TIRI actively promotes the smart expert energy-saving solutions for commercial and industrial applications.

Since 2018, TIRI has cooperated with Pfizer Inc., a new drug research and development company, in establishing environmental monitoring facilities in Pfizer Hsinchu plant. First incorporating sensor-related technologies and expert system jointly developed by academic and research teams to analyze chiller operating data, and plan smart energy-saving plant and environmental facilities construction. At the same time, an algorithm model is established. The operating performance of the chiller system can be expected to increase by 3~15%. The system boosts energy savings while building a green reputation for Pfizer.

TIRI cooperates with MOST to promote the development of national science and technology, and actively strengthen academia-industry links and innovation, so that the academic research results can be practically applied to the industry, hoping to "support academics to develop their strengths and spread research energy".  

TIRI monitors chillers with smart control system, providing higher chiller efficiency by up to 30% in winter.