Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, Hershey Pa., is all about energy and resource efficiencies, which is why it adopted a new approach to managing its chilled water operation. The approach, which revolves around a software and analytics platform used to optimize three chiller plants in addition to various equipment upgrades, has allowed it to save 4.16 GWh/yr in electrical energy consumption – and shave $300,000 off of its annual electrical costs. With an incentive from the local utility of $415,799, the multi-phased initiative achieved a payback of 4.3 years.
The project also involved a shift from a constant-flow strategy to a variable-flow approach, resulting in a more streamlined and effective method for delivering as much as 14,200 tons of chilled water to the sprawling campus, said Penn State Health Campus Energy Engineer Kevin Kanoff, C.E.M.
“We used to use stepped controls to managing the plant,” Kanoff said. “But the optimization methodology now lets us run with more chillers and more pumps and do it more efficiently, which is a simpler and easier method of management and control. It really helps our operators better manage chilled water production.”
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