Category: Central Plant Efficiency

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

Replacing v. Upgrading Your BAS Network

to be or not to be
To replace or not to replace…

Wondering whether it’s more practical to replace your existing building automation system or to upgrade it? Consider three major points in favor of biting the bullet and replacing your BAS.

  1.  Moore’s Law: Holding on to your old system may limit its ability to perform.  New systems have expanded capacity, capability and can streamline data readings from multiple interfaces into a single, comprehensive system. Wireless technology has helped to reduce installation costs while increasing system flexibility. New systems are often less expensive than their dated counterparts once were and much more user friendly.
  2.  In-house Integration: Depending on the life of your other functioning equipment, replacing your BAS with a newer system may allow a more robust interaction among instruments. Upgrading an existing system may bring system features and facility needs into closer alignment, but will never be as close as that of a complete replacement.
  3.  All Good Things Come to an End: Eventually, your BAS will become obsolete-the trick is to determine whether it already is. Evaluate whether the system has some life left or whether it’s best to reset the clock now before the compatibility window has been shut.

    tekWorx CEO® can optimize your chiller plant by either becoming your plant’s brand new BAS, or by simply acting in a supervisory manner to coach your existing system to operate more efficiently.

Chiller Optimization vs. “Make it Work”

If it ain't broke, don't fix it-resized-600

Technological innovations have drastically changed the business environment over the past decade from the introduction of email and cell phones to tablet computers and drones. This trend has also made its way to chilled water plants with greater focus on increasing plant efficiency. Yet, chiller plant design has remained relatively unchanged since the mid-1970s. The primary/secondary system remains a “go-to” configuration since the strategy manages to sufficiently meet the demand of a building, but has no regard for efficiency. So, if it ain’t broke, why fix it? Energy savings- a lot of them. Chilled water not used by the load will always flow through the bypass valve and blend with warm water returning from the load. This blending raises return temperatures and makes the equipment work harder than necessary to maintain the setpoint. The inefficiencies caused by these central plant designs leave a lot of money on the table that can be captured with more innovative designs that reduce the electrical energy needed to produce chilled water.

Since these primary/secondary systems are still being designed and built today despite more efficient alternatives, tekWorx has developed an “Integrated Primary/Secondary” retrofit design (IPS®) to revitalize central plant efficiency with minimal capital expenditure. The IPS® approach eliminates bypass flow and therefore blending to control energy expenditures. Automation and controls work together, continuously monitoring demand, to ensure the best combination of system components are used to optimize plant kW/ ton. tekWorx focuses on controlling these central plants with minimally invasive procedures that deliver maximum energy savings.

To find out how tekWorx can optimize your chiller plant, fill out our Chiller Plant Evaluation Form.