Category: Adaptive Control

COACH™: Integrated Chiller Control and Optimization In One

COACH Logo

tekWorx recently announced the successful completion of multiple installations of COACH™, an integrated chiller plant control and energy optimization system scalable to plants with as few as two chillers.

Using tekWorx CEO® adaptive control technology to control chillers, pumps, and towers, the COACH ™ continuously optimizes total plant kW per ton. The field-configurable package includes a 17” touchscreen and BMS/web gateway in a NEMA 12 enclosure.

“Traditional optimization systems require a BAS to execute the control function, and the combined cost and complexity is simply impractical for smaller and mid-sized plants,” said Mike Flaherty, tekWorx GM. “Integrating the control and optimization functions not only reduces implementation cost but allows our typical 20 to 50 percent saving rage to be realized in these smaller facilities. ”

Built on an industrial-grade PLC platform, the COACH™ uses adaptive control algorithms to maximize plant efficiency in real-time with no ongoing manual tweaking. Fully interactive HMI screens, data logging, trending and alarm handling ensure the COACH™ is both user-friendly and metric-driven.

About tekWorx

Founded in 2000, tekWorx is a leader in chilled water plant optimization. Using proven adaptive control algorithms, tekWorx solutions ensure the most efficient combination of plant equipment is operating at its most efficient point. The tekWorx CEO® solution often eliminates any need for new equipment or plant expansions.

For more information on tekWorx, please visit us at http://info.tekworx.us/coach

Direct Control and Supervisory Control

tekWorx at Work-resized-600

“Plant modifications”, “updates” and “conversions” are phrases that often make plant personnel nervous. Which modifications will bring about the greatest and longest lasting results? What do I have to give up to get the latest and greatest? How much is this going to disrupt the plant and my day-to-day? Will this really save energy?

tekWorx gets it. Working with complex systems that demand different automation techniques and design depending on client’s budgets, time frames, and permitted levels of disruption, tekWorx has seen it all and has you covered. Whether the system needs to be converted from manual operation to automated control or sequence updates need to be implemented for energy efficiency gains, tekWorx CEO® uses custom algorithms to improve any chilled plant’s operations.

In a world with emphasis on short paybacks, shrinking budgets, and long term environmental impacts, tekWorx engineers are practical and pragmatic experts and ensuring clients invest only in what they really need- both in engineering and equipment. As such, there are two overarching approaches in which tekWorx retrofits chilled water plants with its PLC based CEO® system.

When working with a plant that has no Building Automation System (BAS) or has a control system that is too outdated to produce the desired efficiency gains, tekWorx CEO® acts as a BAS for the entire chilled water plant; this is known as the Direct Control Engine. The CEO® then orchestrates all cooling related components (pumps, fans, cooling towers, valves, etc.), ensuring that the best combination of system components are being used to minimize kW per ton.

The second optimization approach is the Supervisory Control configuration, common when the existing BAS system (SCI, Siemens, ALC, etc.) is in good shape. In this set up, the CEO® and BAS coordinate over the plant’s BAS network to control and optimize the plant, sending real time data back and forth to ensure components are operating at maximum efficiency.

In either configuration, tekWorx uses a model to begin, but builds on that by using adaptive control algorithms that make adjustments based on actual system conditions to truly optimize chilled water production.

To find out more information on tekWorx CEO® and adaptive control for energy efficiency, fill out our Chiller Plant Evalution Form.

Energy Expenditures Add Up for Large Hospitals

Bills

It should come as no surprise that hospitals are among the largest consumers of energy in the country. Operating continuously throughout the year with a large fluctuation of employees, patients, and visitors passing between rooms full of energy intensive medical equipment means energy costs add up quickly. The greatest operating expense lies in the sophisticated heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems that control the temperatures and air flow throughout the buildings and in the temperature sensitive operating rooms. According to a 2007 study, there were approximately 3,040 large hospital buildings in the U.S. averaging 644,300 sq. ft., and requiring regular HVAC maintenance and scheduled repair. Of these, 612 utilized chilled water over forced air for their cooling needs. The total kWh for these facilities was a staggering 13 billion, or approximately 21,757 thousand kWh per building. At an average electricity rate of 79₵/ kWh, the energy expenditures per building were enormous. With seven years of inflation and rising energy costs, those numbers have only continued to grow.

At tekWorx, our approach to chiller plant optimization allows chiller plants at critical facilities like hospitals to lower unnecessary energy consumption up to 50% by ensuring each piece of equipment is running at its most efficient point. This significantly reduces operating bills at such client projects as Bayfront Medical Center and Jackson Memorial Hospital (Florida). Using an adaptive control system, tekWorx continuously monitors critical system parameters in real time and automatically adapts online operations. The result; a lot less kWh, lower maintenance and training costs, and better control of overall operating costs. For more information on tekWorx successes in chiller plant optimization check out our Solutions page.