Tag: chilled water plant

Implementing Energy Solutions that Don’t Jeopardize Your Plant’s Operations

Pharmaceutical manufacturers require 100 percent reliability in their chilled water plants to maintain product quality, ensure the validation of test results and eliminate manufacturing downtime.

Having the “correct” plant chiller sequencing set once is simply not enough to meet ongoing operational demands. On a daily basis, increased loads occur, weather conditions vary and unexpected maintenance issues happen. That’s why continuous, automated optimization is key.

Pharma facility directors can reduce energy costs even in the most demanding environments by tapping into tekWorx engineering expertise and adaptive control algorithms.

Pragmatic optimization solutions

At tekWorx, pragmatic solutions and proven chilled water plant optimization technology help companies minimize plant kW/ton while maximizing the use of existing equipment and limiting implementation downtime. Our CEO® solution, which utilizes the Niagara 4® platform, uses adaptive algorithms to continuously analyze real-time process variables and then automatically adjusts key parameter values for real optimization.

Easily integrated with any BAS, any mechanical configuration and any equipment make/model, the CEO® is the leading choice for effective, operator-free optimization.

Allergan chilled water plant optimization results

tekWorx recently worked with the Allergan Global Energy team to optimize their Irvine, CA, manufacturing site’s chilled water plant. While producing popular products such as BOTOX®, JUVEDERM® and LATISSE®, the company struggled to meet an installed capacity of 6,300 tons due to hydronic issues and the load shedding required on high temperature days.

After an initial assessment, the tekWorx engineering team devised a customized adaptive control strategy enabling the site to:

  • Maximize capacity using minimal kW/ton
  • Improve equipment utilization, which in turn improves redundancy
  • Decrease manual intervention
  • Reduce equipment wear and tear

The team integrated the CEO® solution with Allergan’s BAS to improve utilization and performance – all with minimal downtime. This pragmatic solution yielded tremendous bottom-line savings:

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Facility Bio

Situation

Solution


  • Irvine, CA

  • Three variable speed chillers and two constant speed chillers totaling 6,300 tons capacity

  • Distributed campus load with five secondary cooling zones

  • 11.5 cents blended utility rate


  • Installed capacity not achievable due to hydronic issues, load shedding required on high wet bulb temperature days

  • Enthalpy-driven cooling load

  • Chillers run when outdoor air could meet space temperature and RH requirements

  • Modifications over time created system and equipment imbalances

  • BAS control system functional, but did not provide optimization


  • Convert to full variable flow operation

  • Integrate supervisory Control Engine Optimization (CEO®) with existing BAS

  • Reset CHW supply temperature based on enthalpy

  • Efficiency-based chiller sequencing to improve utilization and performance

  • Reset zone DP setpoints to minimize flow and pump power

For more information

Discover how we put our Approachable Expertise® into action for other pharmaceutical companies by reading our online case studies for GSK and Merck. Then contact us to discuss how we can work together to reduce your energy and operating costs with no downtime.

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.

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!

Chiller Optimization vs. “Make it Work”

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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.

 

Direct Control and Supervisory Control

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“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.

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.

The Trouble with Temperature Control

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Delta, or ∆, is the word or symbol used to describe a difference between two related measurements. In the HVAC world, ∆ is used in reference to the difference between return and supply chilled water temperature. While the calculation to determine ∆ T is simple (T of return water less T of supply water), fluctuations in this number can have costly and complex repercussions in a chilled water plant.

Chiller plants are designed with the assumption that ∆ T will remain constant during the entire operating process. This ensures that the load is working efficiently to provide the necessary cooling requirements for the building or space. When the difference between return and supply water changes, the result can cause insufficient cooling loads. The common response to this condition is to bring on additional chillers in order to meet the load. As a result, there are circumstances where both pump energy and chiller energy unnecessarily increase to run two chillers. tekWorx hydronic and mechanical experts allows us to advise clients as to the most efficient chiller strategy. Depending on the facility, there are times when running two chillers is more efficient than one and vice versa. Further, tekWorx CEO® system unlocks the existing capacity in your plant so that you actually produce the cooling the chiller is designed to produce– that means you no longer have to bring on extra chillers before it’s time. For more information on how tekWorx can correct central plant ∆ T, check out Our Approach.