When you were a kid, who woke you up in the morning so you did not miss school? Most of the time, it was your parents, right? Is that efficient? Not really (especially if you are the parent). Parents are busy preparing breakfast, getting to work or loaded down with other responsibilities. Can we find something to do the same thing? Yes! Alarm clocks. The alarm clock was invented over 2000 years ago to get people out of bed and at work on time. I believe it is a very under-appreciated tool.


Most buildings now have building automation system to control the mechanic devices and keep the building environment at a comfortable level. However, if something is wrong such as a passing valve or a broken damper, the building operator may not know the source as the control system will do it best to compensate. Similarly, if the kid wakes up late, he will finish his breakfast fast and rush to the school to save that lost time. Is there anything available like an alarm clock for the building system? Yes! The Fault Detection System.


The Fault Detection System analyzes, finds and reminds you something is wrong. We recently did a pilot project fault detection system at University Centre. It is called Skyspark. Skyspark collects data from the building automation system. It allows the user to program the “rules”, just like you set up the time, volume and sounds for an alarm clock. The rules are derived from the knowledge of an expert and it continuously monitor the whole building system.

The “spark” is an alarm and it asks you to verify if any action shall be taken. For example, if temperatures are different before and after the coil with the valve fully close, a spark will appear and tell the operator that the valve might be leaking. It provides the ability to identify the issues automatically. This is early days yet, so we will see how it works and update you soon. Stay tuned!