The new 900-ton variable speed chiller.
Bayer Global is a well-known, life science company with more than a 150-year history and core competencies in health care and agriculture. Bayer’s research and development of products for agriculture make an important contribution to providing a reliable supply of high-quality food, feed and plant-based raw materials to serve a growing population around the world.
Such is the role of the Bayer Crop Science plant in Kansas City, Missouri, in manufacturing herbicides, fungicides and insecticides to the serve the agricultural community. The 240-acre site employees a 550- member workforce in approximately 80 acres of production facilities.
In 2010, an 800-ton water-cooled chiller was installed at the SFP plant to provide process chilled water to support the active diffusion process in the plant. The 800-ton chiller was connected to a common header with a 600-ton and a 1,000-ton chiller in a closed-loop system supporting the production process. The chillers run year-round to create a constant 40°F water temperature for production equipment in the plant.
Plant chillers are tested annually as part of the maintenance protocol at the plant, and in 2018 the 800-ton chiller showed that several tubes were fouled, leading to concerns about efficiency and reliability. Subsequent efficiency tests in 2019 showed increased fowling and corrosion in more tubes in the chiller, which lead to the crossroad decision between replacing the tubes or replacing the chiller.
Preliminary analysis showed that the incremental cost of replacing the chiller, versus tube replacements, was the more cost-effective approach. So, in the fall of 2019 Bayer Crop Science engineers developed an RFP for a 900- ton chiller.
Three chillers provide process chilled water to support the active diffusion process in the plant.
Bayer’s operational priorities impact all purchase decisions for plant equipment and the priorities are:
“Purchases also must support our Sustainability Goal of being “carbon neutral” by 2030, and special consideration is given to purchases that contribute to that goal,” according to Abhishek Dhuri, Project Manager at Bayer Crop Science.
The RFP resulted in replacement chiller proposals from three vendors. Of the three, Bayer selected a variable-speed 900-ton AquaEdge chiller from Carrier Corporation’s Commercial Sales Office in Lenexa, KS, to be the replacement chiller and scheduled the chiller installation for September 2020. The AquaEdge 19XRV-900 chiller specs showed an impressive Full Load Chiller Efficiency of .6122 kW/ton and a NPLV of 0.3971kW/ton for the R-134a machine. The chiller is to deliver a constant 40°F chilled water temperature for production purposes and would be a base load machine operating 85% of the time. And for ease of maintenance, the chiller was fitted with hinged cooler and condenser water box covers.
Coincidently with the chiller selection, Bayer Crop Science applied for an energy efficiency incentive from the local utility Evergy’s Business Energy Savers Program. Under the incentive program, high efficiency process chillers can qualify for incentives to help pay down the incremental cost associated with high efficiency equipment. After thorough review of the project’s electricity savings, Bayer Crop Science was awarded a substantial incentive based on the substantial savings delivered by the new chiller.
So, by January of 2020, Bayer Crop Science had identified the need for a replacement chiller, had completed the selection of the new chiller, and received commitment for an incentive from Evergy to support the project and had a target date of September 2020 for the replacement.
The Best Laid Plans…
In March of 2020, the original replacement plan began to unravel, starting with the failure of the 10-year-old chiller. Bayer reached out to Carrier to request expedition of the chiller order. At the same time the COVID-19 pandemic invaded the business practices of both Bayer and Carrier, with key project employees moving to a work-from-home environment. Uncertainty about availability, coordination of delivery and a new operating schedule required close coordination between Bayer Crop Science, Carrier Commercial Sales and the Carrier chiller plant to create a new expedited installation plan.
The revised installation plan called for completing the chiller installation by May 2020. Vincent Masucci, of Carrier Commercial Sales, explained that a review of typical manufacturing and delivery process had to be modified to meet the new installation deadline, with the typical factory witness test being cancelled and the Belzona tube coating process that typically is done at the factory, was done at the plant, once the chiller was delivered.”
So, the expedited installation plan was set in motion and the chiller arrived on site, the second week of April. Bayer engaged the services of CDI Industrial & Mechanical to demolish the old chiller, complete the Belzona tube coating and complete the installation. Load testing of the chiller was completed shortly after the installation and it was put into operation in May of 2020, five months ahead of the original plan.
The process cooling savings are:
|Non-Ambient Cooling (Baseload Chiller – IECC 2012) =
|Non-Ambient Cooling (Proposed Chiller – Carrier AquaEdge) =
|Project kWh Savings
|Project kW Demand Savings
The new 900-ton variable speed chiller.
The Business Energy Savings Program is sponsored by Evergy Inc, the electric utility serving the former Kansas City Power & Light and Westar Energy territories in Missouri and Kansas. The current energy efficiency program is only available to Missouri customers and provides energy efficiency incentives for residential, commercial, institutional, and industrial customers. Evergy also offers several renewable energy programs in Missouri and Kansas territories.
About Evergy’s Business Energy Savings Program
Provides incentives for a range of energy efficiency measures for business and industrial customers in and around Kansas City, Missouri, including process chiller replacements, chilled water system optimization, variable frequency drives for pumps, free cooling and thermal energy storage. For more information about the Evergy Business Energy Savings Program, please visit https://www.evergy.com/ways-to-save/resources.
About TRC Advanced Energy
TRC Advanced Energy is a multi-discipline engineering, consulting and construction firm that provides advanced energy services in the environmental, power, energy infrastructure and oil and gas market sectors. TRC currently provides utility energy efficiency program management for 19 utilities, including Evergy, across the country, and renewable energy sources, energy storage, microgrids and distributed energy resources in the United States and abroad. Visit https://www.trccompanies.com.
The author would like to thank and acknowledge the contributions to this article by Abhishek Dhuri, Project Manager, Bayer Crop Science. To learn more about the Evergy Business Energy Savings Program, contact Eric Kruzan at email email@example.com.
To read more articles about the Food Industry, visit https://coolingbestpractices.com/industries/food.