Category: Cooling

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!

Spring Cleaning: To Toss or Retrofit?

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Spring has finally arrived and facilities spring cleaning is underway! It’s no secret that when buildings need modifications, systems are fixed in the most cost-and time-effective manner. In doing so, the big-picture view of how one renovation affects other existing equipment can often be overlooked. Over time, this can result in a system that is way out of whack- building occupants complain, maintenance staff is overworked, and energy costs escalate.

Chillers, boilers, and air handling systems are some of the most retrofitted pieces of plant machinery. Constant tweaking and recalibrations can lead to larger problems that are addressed with band-aids and therefore easily resurface again in the future. Don’t get us wrong, retrofitting can recover lost capacity in existing chiller plants, revitalize equipment and increase energy efficiency. Identifying issues hidden within the chiller plant such as leaks, faulty wiring, or disabled sensors can be uncovered through basic energy audits, allowing for an optimized chiller plant without massive overhaul of equipment. The key, however, is to make sure all parts of the cooling puzzle are considered, including AHUs, cooling towers, pumps, and the like.

tekWorx specializes in retrofitting of existing facilities with a combination of proven techniques including automation controls and customized control sequences designed to ensure the plant is meeting demand in the most energy efficient way. The tekWorx CEO® ensures that no puzzle pieces are missed in the optimization of a chiller plant.

To find out more information on how tekWorx can retrofit your plant, fill out our Chiller Plant Evaluation Form.

Issues with Primary and Secondary Chiller Plants

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An energy efficient design is the last thing on a property owners’ mind during the construction of a chilled water plant. Typically, the chief concern revolves around keeping construction costs to a minimum, ignoring future utility costs and energy efficiency considerations that are critical once a building is fully functioning. Due to this altered focus, chiller systems have historically been built using the classically inefficient “primary/secondary” (P/S). This configuration simply makes sure the building doesn’t run out of cooling on the hottest day of the year and gives no consideration to the expense of this strategy.

With respect to energy, one of the greatest causes for concern with these P/S systems is what is known as blending. Blending occurs as the chilled water combines with warmer water, thereby decreasing the temperature of the return water into the chiller. Because the chillers outputs are spec’d based on a designated temperature set point, energy is being wasted as the system fights to maintain its set point with the influx of warmer water.

To combat this issue, tekWorx has developed an “Integrated Primary/Secondary” retrofit design (IPS®) that brings valuable primary energy benefits to existing primary/secondary systems. Depending upon the specifications of a system, the IPS® substantially improves flow and reduces blending. The IPS® requires minor mechanical/piping changes and control system modifications, keeping the overarching facility infrastructure intact with minimal interruption to the current cooling operations. To see how tekWorx IPS™ can improve your ∆ T, fill out our Chiller Plant Evaluation Form.