Tag: tekWorx

Automated Optimization vs. Analytics: What’s the Best Path to Optimization?

Analytics packages seem to have it all. At first glance, integrated dashboards provide a snapshot of operational processes, metrics and key performance metrics (KPIs).

Unfortunately, analytics as an actual cost reduction tool in chilled water systems are limited unless a human takes action on this information to adjust operations. Optimizing the efficiency of dynamic systems, such as a chilled water plant requires action, ideally continuous action, that does not rely on manual intervention.

The optimization spectrum

 

The various levels of efficiency improvements

Of the four basic levels of efficiency improvements in use today, optimization and analytics are the most discussed. While they are complementary, they are not the same. Analytic and model-based strategies simply suggest edits, not action. Without automation, analytic software cannot optimize dynamic settings like a chilled water plant.

tekWorx automated optimization

The Approachable Experts™ at tekWorx can help your team go beyond analytics to optimize the efficiency of your dynamic system.

Our automated optimization solutions maximize the use of your existing mechanical equipment and controls to significantly improve plant performance. Using adaptive algorithms to continuously analyze real-time process variables, key control parameters are automatically adjusted to minimize plant kW/ton without any human intervention.

For more information about the differences between chilled water plant efficiency improvement models, download our “Go Beyond Analytics to Optimization in Chilled Water Systems” white paper.

Discover the differences in chilled water plant efficiency improvement models in our Go Beyond Analytics in Chilled Water Systems white paper


Learn more about our CEO®  family of solutions

Discover how tekWorx puts our Approachable Expertise® into action by reading our online case studies. Then contact us to discuss how we can work together to improve the energy performance of your unique plant.  Whether you’re looking for a self performance solution or a comprehensive, commissioned solution, we have your optimization needs covered.

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5 Steps to Communicate the Value of Your Energy Program

You’ve implemented an effective corporate energy program that’s lowered operating costs – probably in the 35-50 percent range. You’ve achieved significant cost savings, while also helping the environment by reducing your energy consumption.

But the work isn’t quite done yet. Now it’s the time to communicate both the program details and the results. You might be saying to yourself: “Talking about our results isn’t really my job, and there are other priorities on my plate.”

Don’t overlook the importance of putting the spotlight on the program’s accomplishments. An annual energy program communications plan results in significant advantages such as:

  • Gaining senior executive support
  • Sharing positive news with key stakeholders
  • Raising energy management awareness
  • Motivating employees to help with energy efficiency

There are five important steps to create a plan that will achieve these goals, according to ENERGY STAR®, an excellent resource on this and many energy program topics.ENERGY STAR can help your company communicate your energy program.

Step 1: Define the goals of the communication plan

Start the planning process by identifying no more than two achievable objectives of your communication plan. You might consider goals such as attract new clients by promoting sustainability results, get recognition from management for energy efficiency efforts and so on.

Step 2: Identify target audiences

With these goals in mind, determine your target audience – client, employees or both – and how that might affect your communication and style. Which leads us to Steps 3 and 4…

Step 3: Tailor the message

Now’s the time to map out the content building blocks. List all the key messages, such as cost savings, timelines, key stakeholders and goals, that should be conveyed. Remember to include important statistics and budget numbers, benchmarking data for comparison and team member kudos.

Step 4: Find the best way to reach identified audiences

With strong messaging, you need an equally strong delivery vehicle. Seek out your HR and communication teammates for recommendations and any corporate requirements. Potential messaging tools include:

  • Email announcements
  • Internal and/or external websites
  • YouTube videos
  • Monthly newsletter articles
  • PowerPoint presentations
  • Social media postings
  • Press releases

Step 5: Set the who, what and when

You’ve made it to the final step of the plan, but not the end of the journey. Complete the plan by determining who is responsible for each step, what resources are needed and how often you will communicate.

Work with a proven energy savings partner – tekWorx

The tekWorx team has experience calculating, analyzing and communicating the value of energy-saving programs. With our unique Approachable Expertise®, we can support your efforts from planning through implementation and to communication.

We can help provide effective data points, share industry benchmark statistics and detail next steps. Our team of expert engineers provide innovative, cost-saving solutions to optimize central energy plant performance and reduce costs while providing excellent customer service. Our approachable experts can also assist with your communication efforts.

For more information

To see how ENERGY STAR partners communicate their energy programs internally, click here. You can also discover how tekWorx provides cost savings, energy efficiencies and operational benefits by reading our online case studies. Then contact us to discuss how we can put our Approachable Expertise® to work for your company.

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The ENERGY STAR® Summit: 3 Key Learnings for Industrial Organizations

As an Industrial ENERGY STAR partner, tekWorx commits to providing energy efficiency solutions for companies of all sizes and helping them meet their energy usage and sustainability goals through chilled water plant optimization.ENERGY STAR

At our recent ENERGY STAR Energy Industrial Partner meeting in Atlanta, Georgia, several themes and opportunities emerged:

Energy efficiency intersects with reliability

Attaining – and then maintaining energy efficiency – is the focal point of public policy and corporate goals to save money and reduce environmental consumption. With focused efforts, significant achievements can be made. For example, if the energy efficiency of commercial and industrial buildings improved by 10 percent, $40 billion in cost savings could be achieved.1

Achieving energy efficiency also accomplishes another key goal for companies: system reliability. Reducing demand ensures supply adequacy by reducing the base load, the amount of energy required to be supplied and the peak power demand. By reducing the load and stress in the power distribution network, it enhances the system’s security and decreases the probability of failures. Businesses need reliability to work hand-in-hand with cost savings

Benchmarking drives success

With benchmarking, corporate leaders can rank their facilities’ performance versus their peers. But more importantly, use the information they’ve gathered to drive action.

The EPA found in a recent study that buildings that benchmarked consistently found ways to drive results – delivering reduced energy usage rates of 2.4 percent per year on average – for a total savings of 7 percent. Buildings starting with poor energy efficiency when they started benchmarking realize even more energy and cost savings.

ENERGY STAR offers benchmarking tools for 21 types of facilities. These tools gauge performance on a scale of 1 to 100. Facilities that receive a low score should initiate an energy audit to discover ways to improve operational efficiency and reduce costs. In addition to ENERGY STAR’s tools, tekWorx offers comprehensive, complementary chiller plant optimization evaluations that can demonstrate how companies can cut energy costs up to 50 percent.

Energy management is a strategic program

Long-term energy savings success depends on creating a culture of energy efficiency. Implementing
a straegic management energy program at your company will build the foundation and map the path to success.

Here's a guide for continuous improvement in energy savings
Your guide for continuous improvement

ENERGY STAR created a full step-by-step program guide to help companies design what energy management looks like for their organizations. ENERGY STAR consolidated the best practices of its partner organizations, like tekWorx. Creating an energy program doesn’t necessarily require an initial capital investment. After you’ve built the roadmap, you can start working through no-cost and low-cost opportunities while you’re working to secure capital for larger projects.

For chiller plant optimization, turn to tekWorx and our unique blend of Approachable Expertise® as your industrial ENERGY STAR partner. Our solutions increase operational efficiency and reduce energy costs. Our pragmatic and available experts partner with our clients to deliver results.

For more information

Discover how tekWorx provides cost savings, energy efficiencies and operational benefits, read our online case studies. Then contact us to discuss how we can put our Approachable Expertise® to work for your company.

Follow us on LinkedIn for the most up-to-date news and events.

1 U.S. Department of Energy Better Buildings program. March 19, 2015.

* Estimated energy cost savings represent the present value of net energy cost savings, calculated by taking the difference between total energy bill savings and the incremental additional investment in energy-efficient technologies and services.

Energize Your Bottom Line with a Comprehensive, Complimentary Energy Audit

When hearing the phrase energy audit, do you automatically think a) we did that years ago, or b) it’s not in the budget for this year?

Consider what it would mean for your corporate bottom line if a free energy audit reported that your company could realize an annual savings of 10-50 percent in energy costs? Well-prepared energy audits reveal a range of solutions, while requiring only a minimal investment of corporate time.

The tekWorx energy audit process

At tekWorx, our engineers start the no-risk audit process by performing an onsite evaluation – inspecting the chilled water system piping, equipment and controls, viewing design plans and talking to operators. In addition, the tekWorx team reviews plant chiller logs and bin data to help acquire an overall energy-efficiency baseline.

tekWorx offers a comprehensive energy audit to cut 10-50% in energy costs

Following the information-gathering phase, tekWorx engineers will provide a chilled water (CHW) system performance assessment for your unique plant detailing:

  • How the current CHW system consumes energy, along with a comparison to industry best-practice targets
  • Short, medium and long-term Energy Conservation Measures (ECMs)
  • Adaptive control strategies for minimizing plant kW/ton
  • Projected investment for savings and a payback target
  • Applicable energy rebates and associated calculations

tekWorx delivers our customers a unique blend of Approachable Expertise®, increasing operational efficiency and reducing energy costs while designing pragmatic solutions to meet their unique needs. As part of the recommended solution, our team seeks to improve energy efficiency by maximizing current equipment instead of making additional capital expenditures.

 For more information

To see how tekWorx turns energy audits into real-world results, read our online case studies. Then fill out our Chiller Plant Evaluation Form or contact us to initiate the free, comprehensive audit process.

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How tekWorx Helped a Major Pharmaceutical Site Save $542,000

tekWorx recently worked alongside the Allergan Global Energy team to optimize chilled water plant operations at their Irvine, CA manufacturing site. The makers of such well-known products as BOTOX®, JUVEDERM® and LATISSE® were struggling to meet an installed capacity of 6,300 tons due to hydronic issues and the load shedding required on high wet bulb temperature days.

Modifications had also been made over the years that caused system and equipment imbalances that negatively impacted the site’s energy profile. While a BAS control system was in place and functional, it did not provide any optimization.

After an initial assessment of the plant’s operating profile via data submitted in a Chiller Plant Optimization Evaluation, tekWorx engineers devised a customized adaptive control strategy that would allow the Irvine site to:

  • Maximize capacity using minimal kW/ton
  • Improve equipment utilization, thereby improving redundancy
  • Decrease manual intervention
  • Reduce equipment wear and tear

Because the site already had a functional BAS system, tekWorx took a pragmatic approach by integrating our supervisory CEO® with Allergan’s existing system instead of replacing it completely. tekWorx engineers converted the plant to a full variable flow, reset CHW supply temperature based on enthalpy, and implemented efficiency-based chiller sequencing to improve utilization and performance, all with minimal downtime.

Our Allergan results

tekWorx solution enabled Allergan to minimize pump flow and power consumption, ensuring that the optimal set of equipment is always in operation. But what does that really mean for the bottom line? As you can see, the results speak for themselves:

  • 5 cents blended utility rate
  • $542,000 annual utility cost savings
  • $250,000 utility rebate
  • ~6-month payback
  • >4,700,000 kWh saved annually

The tekWorx results don’t end here. Check out our case studies for more happy bottom lines in a wide range of industries.

For more information

To see how tekWorx can put our Approachable Expertise to work for you, contact us with your chiller control and optimization questions. You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn for our most up-to-date news and events.

How Professor Pump Became a Guiding Force at tekWorx

You sometimes meet people and immediately understand their impact will be felt far and wide for years to come.

Our co-founder Burt Rishel was one of those people. He made his mark in design,Burt Rishel, Co-Founder engineering and writing while influencing those around him with his intelligence, heart and dedication.

A gifted engineer and a captain of the Army Air Corps, his first major achievement was as a principal designer for the CG-10A glider, which became the first Assault Cargo aircraft. Then he found his true professional love – pumping systems –
which earned him the nickname Professor Pump.

Professor Pump first founded Systecon, and then helped launch tekWorx in 2000. He loved designing pumping systems and helping companies operate more efficiently. His work took him across the country, serving as a consultant for the chilled water systems at the Denver International Airport, the National Institute of Standards and Technology and the National Institutes of Health.

A prolific writer of technical articles, he also wrote two influential books: “HVAC Pump Handbook” and “Water Pumps and Pumping Systems.”

“At tekWorx, we are indebted to our co-founder, friend and inspiration. His knowledge made us a pioneer in the field. His mentorship molded us. His customer-first focus motivated us,” says Managing Partner Mike Flaherty.

Burt passed away in August 2013, leaving a legacy that all of us at tekWorx strive to live up to every day.

For more information about tekWorx

Discover the next generation of Professor Pumps. Contact tekWorx today with your energy-saving questions and see how we can partner together to achieve an effective chiller plant optimization solution. Plus, follow us on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn for our most up-to-date news and events.

Automotive Leader Reduces Energy Costs

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In January, the Chrysler Technical Center Facilities Group received a $200,000 DTE Energy rebate check for reducing their central energy plants annual energy costs by approximately $1 million! The DTE “Energy Efficiency Program for Business” incentive provides rebates to DTE Energy’s electric commercial customers for retrofitting facilities with more energy-efficient equipment for HVAC systems or control operations. These customer incentives are rewarded to customers based on the first year of energy savings in kWh with $200,000 being the maximum rebate given out.

The Chrysler Technical Center is one of the largest facilities under one roof in the world and, at a staggering 17,000 tons, also holds one of the largest chilled water systems. The Chilled Water System Optimization Project’s primary objective was simple: reduce the annual 49 million kWh and the associated $3.9 million price tag while automating the previously manual system. A reduction of 12 million kWh/year in cooling hours, or roughly $1 million per year, was achieved utilizing a variable flow strategy that entailed the integration of modern PLCs, VFDs, a variety of DP sensors, water pump impeller trimming, and a proprietary control algorithm developed by tekWorx.

Congratulations to the CTC facilities group on their incredible achievement! For more information regarding tekWorx chiller plant optimization capabilities, check out Our Approach.

HVAC: Opening Our Eyes in Mission Critical Environments

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Imagine walking into a hospital and being asked the question: “What do you observe around you?” It’s a noticeably pristine environment filled with people hurrying around the building. There is the constant sound of beepers, ringing phones, and distant conversations of medical terminology. The air is open and sterile, carrying a sanitary scent. Despite these automatic observations, one of the most essential components to keeping this sterile, clean and sanitary environment is not so obvious. HVAC systems are an absolutely critical part to keeping our health care buildings successful and hygienic. These cooling components help to control the air temperature, air pressure, and humidification that is necessary to overall success.

The tricky part of this mission critical scenario is energy efficiency. How do systems have the possibility of saving any energy when a constant, meticulous setting is required 24/7? The systems do have to be constantly working in order to maintain the desired temperature and settings, but reducing the amount of unnecessarily burned resources is a solution. In order to successfully monitor energy and air quality, each building needs to be evaluated to improve system efficiency. Optimization in these health care systems will not only help to improve redundancy and ensure reliability, but help to increase financial savings on wasted resources as well.

Meeting the demand of energy efficiency and reliability in a delicate mission critical scenario is challenging but attainable. tekWorx will evaluate your plant and establish a system energy assessment to create a unique, customized energy solution. Even after this adaptive control solution is in position, tekWorx engineering experts are always available, keeping a close watch on your installation and continuously monitoring to ensure system efficiency.  This is one way we can continue to help the health care system successfully grow in a safe, clean, and environmentally friendly way.

Check out our results page to see how tekWorx has worked to increase annual plant savings, helping an impressive list of companies become truly energy efficient.

Optimizing HVAC in the Growing Health Care System

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Hospitals and health systems have become a noticeably booming industry. New health care facilities are sprouting up everywhere, from huge downtown medical districts to local branches in smaller communities. Unfortunately, a hovering cloud of worry follows the excitement for these new developments—expanding or opening these new health care buildings is a very expensive process. There are several components necessary for successful construction, primarily because once these heath systems projects are completed they automatically transition into mission critical situations with no room for error. Because of these mission critical scenarios, extensive research on central plant equipment is necessary in order to determine the most reliable and resilient investment in air and waterside regulation and circulation.

Optimizing these HVAC components is one way to ditch the long term expenses while implementing a quality solution. Saving money on unnecessary utility charges will cut central energy plant costs while keeping the building at the required comfort levels. The newly published Energy Retrofit Guide builds on this concept and outlines ways to optimize outdated and inefficient existing facilities, boosting scalability as well.

tekWorx engineers evaluate, assess, and retrofit old systems to improve redundancy and improve system efficiency. Proper management of utilities and plant operations are critical to keep this thriving health care industry prosperous. HVAC optimization is a way to keep these buildings sterile, safe, and secure for not only the patients, but for the preservation of the equipment and technology as well.

To read about some examples on how health care systems have improved their energy consumption via HVAC improvements check out this article from greenbiz.com!

Scalability: The Importance of Weighing the Best Fit for Energy Solutions

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Finding energy solutions that will be worth the time and effort can be intimidating. A successful search requires a smart, realistic, and curious approach. It’s easy to fall into the advertising traps of the cheapest, most convenient, or most heavily promoted products. Despite these tricks, however, it’s important to remember that just because the shoe fits doesn’t mean you should wear it.

An essential factor to consider while searching for this perfect fit is scalability, a factor indicative of a smart, long-term investment. It’s bad enough buying something that’s overpriced or whose inner-workings are unclear, but discovering a recent investment will soon be outdated or inefficient faster than initially planned is even worse. This is especially significant when it comes to HVAC systems and those in sensitive mission critical situations. Retrofitting central plant equipment in mission critical conditions means, in most cases, the system would be required to be temporarily shut down. Many of these plants do not upgrade their equipment or do small fixes that don’t really impact the bottom line. Finding scalable solutions that can be successfully implemented is a major challenge—after all, time is money!

tekWorx CEO® perfectly embraces this need for scalability by providing a strong plant optimization solution in a short implementation time. tekWorx has developed and patented a proven system integration approach that limits and/or eliminates the amount of time the plant would have to be out of service to optimize its chilled water system. tekWorx proprietary Integrated Primary/Secondary system® addresses sensitive application environment’s inability to shut down while recovering lost capacity and delivering effective energy optimization.

Check out our client results to see how scalability and downtime have been effectively addressed to provide energy solutions to major Fortune 500 Companies.

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.