Category: Energy Expenditures

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.

 

Energy Expenditures Add Up for Large Hospitals

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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.