Chillers

Since its inception, MDW has seen growth in air travel. To handle the increased passenger volume and modernize the airport, a larger terminal went under construction in 2000 and was completed in 2004 as part of a terminal development program. The program also included a new Central Heating and Refrigeration Plant (CHRP), which was completed in 2000 to serve the increased cooling and heating needs of the new terminals. The CHRP was a separate contract from the terminal modernizations and was awarded using a third-party design build contract. Unicom Thermal Technologies (UTT) was awarded the project with Hill Mechanical Group (HMG) as its contractor. 

Do water-cooled chiller plants still deliver lower utility bills? Today, many chiller plant energy analyses carefully account for energy costs, and even energy escalation rates – a factor that projects how fuel costs will increase over time, while ignoring water and wastewater costs associated with cooling towers. While highly effective at transferring heat, cooling towers consume millions of gallons of water each year through the process of evaporation, drift, and blowdown. With the rising cost of water and wastewater, this omission can result in an incomplete picture for the building owner.
The 2020 AHR Expo, the world’s largest HVACR event, was held February 3-5, at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida. Supported by event co-sponsors, ASHRAE and AHRI, along with 31 other major industry organizations, and more than 1,900 exhibiting companies, AHR Expo is the industry’s largest global marketplace to network, share best practices and learn about innovative solutions from all over the world. With more than 200 free seminars, the education program featured new product and technology presentations, professional certifications, and education sessions focused on general industry-wide topics, engineering, industry trends, and topics tailored to attract the OEMs, engineers, contractors, facility operators, architects and other HVACR industry professionals from more than 160 countries.
The need to pay close attention to the university’s central chiller plant has always been a priority given the energy required to power the chillers, said Michael Bolien, Manager of Central Plant Operations, University of Tulsa. At TU, seven water-cooled chillers provide 7,000 tons of cooling capacity to all university facilities. “Over the past five years, TU has had a 17% increase in cooling load, based on the square footage of new buildings. Because our central chiller plant is our biggest energy user, optimizing its operations is our first line of defense,” said Bolien.
Chillers are an essential component in many building Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) systems. They provide cooling to the building by working in tandem with pumps and cooling towers in a water-cooled chiller plant. Because of the chiller’s complexity and its role in cooling facilities, it is arguably the most important piece of equipment to maintain.
Among key initiatives at DENSO’s Maryville, Tennessee, facility is the use of an innovative ice-storage system engineered to provide environmentally friendly comfort cooling to employees at the company’s main production facility. The system also allows Plant 101 to reduce cooling costs per ton by 44%, while providing a payback of less than four years. It also resulted in an annual carbon dioxide (CO2) reduction of 18,000 tons.
Absorption chillers have been around for more than 75 years, with several thousand chillers operating successfully all over the world today. Yet myths about cost, operation and performance surround this technology, particularly in North America. Look beyond the myths and you’ll discover absorption cooling technology can be efficient, cost-effective, flexible and reliable.
Cooling large buildings typically requires the use of air- or water-cooled chillers that produce chilled water, which then cools the air. About 39% of buildings over 100,000 square feet use chilled-water systems employing various refrigeration compressor designs.
One of the biggest challenges brewers such as Coppertail face is maintaining the dedication to their brand’s mission and their loyal following, while expanding their reach and growing market share. That challenge means not compromising on ingredients and utilizing the best equipment available for the fermenting, brightening and packaging of their product. But, for any growing business, reliability, uptime and power costs must be quantified in order to maximize margins to make the business viable.
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. 
Given that HVAC systems typically account for 44% of commercial buildings’ energy consumption1, HVAC optimization should be a priority efficiency upgrade after lighting improvements and other low-hanging fruit. Full-scale HVAC optimization typically reduces energy usage and costs by 20 to 40%, improves system reliability by operating equipment more efficiently and at optimal temperatures, ensures consistently healthy air quality and building comfort, and reduces a building’s carbon footprint.