Category: Approachable Expertise

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.

tekWorx Optimization is Making Headlines!

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tekWorx was recently consulted for their Approachable Expertise® in chiller plant optimization strategies for ACHR News. In the interview, tekWorx GM Mike Flaherty outlines tekWorx best practices for simultaneously increasing energy efficiency and reclaiming cooling capacity in central plants. With this unique approach, all of the equipment used for cooling production is optimized, especially chillers which are often overlooked by contractors. According to tekWorx, ensuring that all of the cooling equipment (chillers, valves, cooling towers, etc.) is involved in the reduction strategy is key to decreasing energy costs in the long term.

tekWorx focuses its automation and control strategies specifically on these energy intensive components. Flaherty summarizes three phases used in every tekWorx project: an energy audit to lay out what should be done, what it will cost and what it will save, the installation of an adaptive control system to continually optimize total plant kW per ton and ongoing commissioning services to verify performance.

To read the article, please visit ACHR News.

Cold Weather Doesn’t Stop Healthcare Need for Optimization

With the arrival of fall temperatures many companies are turning up the heat! As a company that focuses on chiller optimization you may think tekWorx is preparing to hibernate for winter, but you’d be wrong!

Many tekWorx clients require cool temperatues year round, in particular healthcare organizations. Operating rooms are required to maintain a 60 degree temperature and the storage of tissue samples used to diagnose patient illness require cold storage for preservation. Because tekWorx focuses on customized solutions that automatically fluctuate depending on building need to conserve as much energy as possible, operating room and tissue samples stay cool year round. Not to mention energy costs are significantly reduced!

Want to learn more on how tekWorx Approachable Expertise can help your industry with energy efficiency? Contact us or fill out our Chiller Plant Evaluation Form!

Submit Your Questions Today for Our Next “Ask an Engineer!”

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tekWorx is looking for questions for our next Ask an Engineer! Submit your question today in the comment section below! We’ve already covered topics regarding DP sensors and demand charges, and our Approachable Engineers are ready and willing for any questions regarding your central plant!

Ask an Engineer – Saving on Demand Charges

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Welcome to Ask an Engineer, where our approachable experts are ready to field questions in regards to engineering, chiller plant optimization, or just about what tekWorx can do for you!

Put on sunscreen. Drink plenty of water. Make sure your chiller plant is operating at 100% efficiency…wait, what?

Summer is the most important season for chiller plant efficiency. Optimization is a key element because an efficient chiller plant can quell the strain of the heat on both your plant and your wallet.

One follower asked:

“Are there any additional benefits to chiller plant optimization in the summer? Where can I actually see the results?”

A fantastic question! Here’s some insight from our founder, Burt Rishel:

You’ll see the results in your utilities bills! Chiller plant optimization saves year round by bringing down the total plant kW/ton. In the summer, the demand charge, in $/kW, is where the additional savings lie: chiller plant optimization can lower your highest total point of kW consumption. This, in turn, reflects on the demand charge, lowering the ratchet point set by your highest consumption and bringing costs down.

tekWorx understands just how important chiller plant efficiency can be not only in the summer months but year round. Take a look at a few of our case studies in chiller plant efficiency and see the projects that our CEO® system keeps working well all summer long.

Stay cool and stay tuned for more Approachable Expertise!

tekWorx Road Diaries: Pittsburgh

tekWorx engineers are always on the road, optimizing chiller plants all over the world. This week one of our engineers, Ryan Cowan, sent in the following update photos from the Verizon jobsite in Pittsburgh:

This is from downtown Pittsburgh overlooking the intersection of the 3 rivers and Heinz field.
This is from downtown Pittsburgh overlooking the intersection of the 3 rivers and Heinz field.

Our engineers will be in the Pittsburgh and North Bergen areas this week. Keep an eye out for more pictures from the road, and more updates from tekWorx approachable experts!

Ask an Engineer – DP Sensors

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We at tekWorx are always willing and ready to field questions in regards to engineering, chiller plant optimization, or just about what tekWorx can do for you!

Today’s questions come from Brian, regarding DP transmitters:

  1. Is it better to install the DP transmitter/sensors farthest away from the mechanical room or 2/3 away from mechanical room?
  2. Is there a recommended way/detail on how to properly install DP transmitters (or is there no way to improperly install the DP sensors)

Thanks for the questions, Brian! Here’s an answer from one of our founders, Burt Rishel.

  1. The short answer is that the end is always better because you’re sure to satisfy every load. If you put it 2/3 of the way out, and you never have a load beyond that point that is underfed and is still satisfying the DP set-point, then you’re okay. However, if you go with 2/3, and loads beyond the sensors aren’t satisfied, you have to use trial and error to determine the set-point needed to satisfy the far load. Thankfully this isn’t a major issue unless you have a lot of diversity in that particular loop, so it comes down to the risk of an unsatisfied load and the practical installation issues.
  2. I wish there was not a way to improperly install DP transmitters. Unfortunately, there are mistakes all the time. The most common problem is hooking up the high pressure tube to the low port on the transmitter and vice versa. The Veris model DPT we recommend eliminates this problem because the ports can be swapped on the transmitter by changing a dip switch. Otherwise, this is a relatively minor plumbing change.

The second problem occurs when the supply and return taps are installed at different elevations. The reading will be off by the vertical difference between the taps. This is easily corrected with an offset in the program to zero out the difference. However, it’s a real problem when the control contractor is either unaware or simply does not know to take this into account.

Regards,

Burt

Have a question for our engineers? Want to find out more about tekWorx? Be sure to contact our engineering experts, and keep reading the tekWorx blog for more Approachable Expertisetm!

Ask an Engineer – Submit Your Questions Today!

 

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tekWorx is proud to introduce Ask An Engineer, our newest way of showcasing our Approachable Expertise™. Once a month, one of our engineers will take time to answer your questions regarding the engineering aspect of what tekWorx is all about. Anything from central energy plant mechanics and control systems, to programming and energy assessments, it’s all up for discussion!

Please leave a question in the space below. Ask An Engineer will update regularly, so keep an eye out for our answers to your questions!