When your mechanical systems are running at peak performance, it’s good for everybody… you, your employees and the environment. Hutchinson is a leader in providing HVAC solutions that guarantee your facilities run smoothly & efficiently.
Integrity in service, absolute satisfaction in performance! When your systems are at their best, it makes everything Greener – including your balance sheet.
Hutchinson is a Participating Contractor in New Jersey’s two Clean Energy Programs – Pay for Performance and Direct Install. These innovative programs are designed to offer commercial, industrial, and governmental customers financial incentives, design support, and technical assistance to integrate energy efficient and renewable energy technologies into new construction, upgrades, and new cooling & heating equipment installations.
Eleven Mechanical Improvements to Save Energy
There has been a lot of buzz lately about Green Buildings in our industry. Mechanical energy efficiency improvements exist at many (dare we say all) facilities, and although some of the following upgrades may not apply, many do:
- Central plant energy efficiency opportunities include installing higher efficiency chillers (or other AC systems). New chillers are 25%-50% more efficient than chillers 10 or more years old. Since many facilities with central chillers must replace them to comply with the CFC phase-out, it pays to invest in a new, high-efficiency unit. The new chillers also have vastly improved controls that make it easier to optimize chiller efficiency.
- Consider installing a larger cooling tower to improve efficiency and reduce tower return temperature. Cooling towers are rarely sized to handle “worst case” conditions. As a result, the entire cooling system is very efficient on the warmest days. An over sized cooling tower results in lower return water temperatures and higher chiller efficiency.
- Install variable speed drives on the cooling tower fans. A variable speed fan will allow the cooling tower to operate efficiently using less fan energy and will reduce fan.
- Install high efficiency condensing boilers for heating hot water. All gas and propane-fired boilers should be modulating condensing boilers with efficiencies higher than 90%. This is about 30% more efficient than most older boilers. Also, condensing boilers operate very efficiently at low loads. Most new installations utilize two or more smaller, modular boilers, rather than a large boiler.
- In warm months, reduce outside air intake, especially when enthalpy is high. Many facilities bring in too much outside air during warm and humid periods.
- Install variable speed drives on the hot water pumping systems. All continuously operating hot water pumps should have variable speed drives that reduce pumping energy during periods of low hot water use.
- Obtain “free” hot water from the chillers or other air conditioning units. Consider adding a new “heat recovery” chiller to produce hot water. Facilities that require cooling most of the year can obtain “free” hot water from their refrigeration equipment. This can be accomplished by double-bundled heat exchangers in the chillers or using a plate heat exchanger in the condenser-cooling loop going to the cooling tower.
- Install variable speed drives on all constant speed fans that are throttled back in response to variable loads. Fans that are controlled with dampers should be retrofitted with variable speed drives. A speed reduction of only 20% will reduce fan energy by nearly 50%.
- Install premium efficiency motors on pumps and fans that have long run hours. Motors on all pumps and fans with long run hours should be replaced with premium efficiency motors. Also, over sized motors should be replaced with smaller motors, which operate more efficiently than the over sized motors they replace.
- Install/upgrade HVAC controls to include intelligent new EMS technologies. The latest generation of energy management systems is much easier to use and delivers more consistent savings than earlier energy management control systems. They can deliver a substantial savings while also improving comfort.
- Consider installing a desiccant HVAC system. Desiccant technology (which dehumidifies air) has become a valuable tool in space-conditioning options. In certain cooling applications, desiccant cooling units provide advantages over the more common vapor-compression and absorption units. For example, desiccant units don’t require ozone-depleting refrigerants, and they can use natural gas, solar thermal energy or waste heat, thus lowering peak electric demand. They are particularly effective at treating the large humidity loads resulting from ventilation air in much of the country.
Facility managers also can generate significant life-cycle savings through other measures, such as natural landscaping, water-saving equipment, low-maintenance materials, salvaged construction debris and smart building controls.
For more information on energy savings, Email us or call your Hutchinson Mechanical Services representative at 888-777-4501.