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Chillers constitute a significant portion of energy consumption equipment in heating, ventilating and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems. The growing complexity of building systems has become a major challenge for field technicians to troubleshoot the problems manually; this calls for automated ldquosmart-service systemsrdquo for performing fault detection and diagnosis (FDD). The focus of this paper is to develop a generic FDD scheme for centrifugal chillers and also to develop a nominal data-driven (ldquoblack-boxrdquo) model of the chiller that can predict the system response under new loading conditions. In this vein, support vector machines, principal component analysis, and partial least squares are the candidate fault classification techniques in our approach. We present a genetic algorithm-based approach to select a sensor suite for maximum diagnosabilty and also evaluated the performance of selected classification procedures with the optimized sensor suite. The responses of these selected sensors are predicted under new loading conditions using the nominal model developed via the black-box modeling approach. We used the benchmark data on a 90-t real centrifugal chiller test equipment, provided by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers, to demonstrate and validate our proposed diagnostic procedure. The database consists of data from sixty four monitored variables of the chiller under 27 different modes of operation during nominal and eight faulty conditions with different severities.