Category: Adaptive Control Algorithms

tekWorx Empowers JCI Client to Slash Operating Costs 68%

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BAYFRONT AT A GLANCE

  • 480-bed private hospital
  • 75,000 ft2
  • Over 3,000 employees
  • (4) York chillers
  • 2,575 tons installed cooling capacity

APPROACH

  • Convert plant to Integrated Primary/Secondary® design
  • Reconfigure tertiary pumps to alleviate system pressure problems and eliminate wasted energy
  • Add VFDs to all building pumps to eliminate wasted pump energy
  • Design and install PLC based adaptive control algorithms to ensure maximum chiller loading, optimal control of all CHW pumps and proper balance of cooling towers and chillers

IMPLEMENTATION

  • CEO ® system connected directly to JCI Metasys system via BACnet IP protocol, allowing tekWorx to gather real-time data on temperatures, flows, etc., and to fully control all plant equipment
  • Failover sequence developed and implemented to address control redundancy
  • No plant downtime during the course of this project
  • All major equipment remained in operation during commissioning

RESULTS

  • Manually operated system operating at 1.1kW/ton is now a real-time adaptive control system operating at .75 kW/ton
  • System experiences much less wear and tear
  • Operators are now freed up to perform other important tasks
  • CEO® User Interface has provides the staff with better insight into the system for diagnostics and trouble shooting

To learn more about this study and to see how tekWorx can help to optimize your plant, visit www.tekWorx.us

Sustainability: A Treasure Hunt for a Better Energy Solution

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When we hear the term “sustainability,” we automatically think of the trends that have been surfacing in our world over the past couple of years. Questions like “How can we make our world greener?” or “How can we save energy and resources?” seem to appear everywhere. Although awareness has been raised, the basic fixes like recycling and turning off lights are simply not enough to solve the problem. The real solutions for going green and industrial energy usage dilemmas can deceive us by appearing more complicated than they really are. Treasure hunts are one solution to these problems. As a strategy that helps to bring several skills into play, treasure hunts involve a team of employees working together to evaluate and assess the energy consumption in a facility. These different perspectives, knowledge, and expertise join together to create a customized energy efficiency solution.

An inevitable find in these commercial and industrial treasure hunts is the hidden cost of cooling. By recovering this wasted energy, companies not only become more energy conscious but also end up saving money (treasure) while going green—an ideal solution. Sustainability, energy efficiency, and treasure hunts go hand-in-hand and when done correctly provide major kWh savings, sparing the pain of expensive energy bills.

tekWorx reduces the energy usage for customers by optimizing chilled water plant production. tekWorx CEO® system not only helps the environment by controlling the amount of resources used, it also prevents unnecessary spending through its customized adaptive control algorithms. Check out our chiller plant evaluation forms to see how much energy your plant can save with a customized control system from our Approachable Expertise® team. We’re here to make our world (and your wallets) a little greener!

Taking the Treasure Hunt One Step Further

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Treasure hunts are an efficient way for companies to quickly recapture lost energy costs using simple fixes. EnergyStar’s best practices include starting with lighting replacements and renegotiating of utility contracts to see basic energy reductions in short time frames. These hunts constitute a major step in the right direction for buildings looking to reduce energy consumption and energy bills. However, if treasure hunts handle the low hanging fruit, reaching the fruit located in the upper branches of the energy efficiency tree becomes a lot more complex than replacing the lights. Short term efficiency can positively bolster lean operating processes but long term goals can’t be achieved without more sophisticated methods for optimizing chilled water plants. Even with the popularity and usefulness of energy treasure hunts, Approachable Expertise® still remains critical.

Much like the lean manufacturing processes on which these treasure hunts are modeled, the key for improvement is both in pinpointing areas in need of energy optimization and then in applying best practices to improve upon these inefficiencies. tekWorx uses decades of hydronic system expertise to optimize all of the central plant equipment associated with producing cooling. Using industrial PLC platforms, adaptive control algorithms work to reduce chiller lift and ensure the system is meeting demand in the most energy efficient way. Real time data is continuously monitored and plant kW/ton is significantly reduced. Automation and control techniques such as these allow companies to reach the upper branches of the energy efficiency tree and to stay and enjoy their tremendous energy savings.

To find out how tekWorx can increase your view on energy efficiency, please fill out our Chiller Plant Evaluation Form.

Tennessee Tech Saves by Utilizing Energy Efficiency

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Tennessee Tech in Cookeville, TN has grown like any typical college campus with continual expansion over the years due to new facilities and increased enrollments. In order to keep up with ever changing demands, the campus facilities group attempted to connect the original distributed cooling system with new buildings, unintentionally creating deficiencies that compromised the efficiency and operability of the central CHW system. Because the central plant was delivering cooling to some buildings while others housed their own chillers, the campus was faced with improper balancing and low ∆ T. In short, they were lacking a control strategy that would orchestrate greater campus energy efficiency.

Unlike typical BAS strategies, tekWorx Control Engine Optimization (CEO®) system does not rely on a cookie cutter technique, but adapts to the unique needs of every chiller plant. tekWorx implemented this CEO® with Tennessee Tech’s existing facilities, designing a sequence of adaptive control algorithms to optimize the hydronic system and meet changing load conditions. The CEO® uses real time plant the information to determine optimal operations points for all cooling-related components under their ever-changing conditions to ensure the best combination is used to increase efficiency. The result is a reduction in system wide kW consumption by meeting demand in the most energy efficient way.

Since the installation of the tekWorx CEO®, Tennessee Tech has enjoyed an average on-going ~10% annual reduction in their campus wide energy consumption. The chilled water plant accounts for about 25% of overall kW consumption for the campus meaning there was a 25% reduction in kW consumption by the chilled water system alone. In total, the school has avoided nearly $75,000 in utility costs since the project was completed. To find out how tekWorx can increase the efficiency in your chilled water plant, fill out our Chiller Plant Evaluation Form.