HVAC/Process Cooling at Best Practices 2023 EXPO & Conference


In late October 2023, professionals from around the world gathered at the Best Practices 2023 EXPO & Conference at McCormick Place in Chicago, Illinois to source and learn about Sustainble, Safe and Reliable On-Site Utilities Powering Automation including chillers, cooling towers, motors, compressed air, blowers, vacuum, pneumatics and more.

“Recent energy price instabilities and our sustainability targets have accelerated our needs to improve energy efficiencies and better utilize our existing utility assets,” said Bing Cheng, Director of Global Utilities, Givaudan – a global fragrance and ingredients company, during his keynote presentation. 

The Best Practices Conference featured over seven hours of sessions dedicated to cooling water reliability, safety, quality and efficiency. This report will recount the cooling water system educational curriculum at the Conference, and technology displayed at the EXPO. This event was also co-located with a large food and beverage processing trade show.


Conference Recap

Cheng shared direct examples of Givaudan’s efforts to optimize its chilled water system reliability and efficiency. “During heating and cooling seasons, we’re looking at increasing and decreasing our temperature set points so we’re not over cooling or heating our facilities. We also have maintenance procedures in place to ensure our evaporator and condenser coils aren’t fouling,” said Cheng. In addition, Givaudan’s asset replacement plan is pushing very hard for heat pump technology as boilers are reaching replacement age. 

An Event Co-Sponsor was The Cooling Technology Institute (CTI), an industry association advocating and promoting the use of all environmentally responsible commercial cooling technologies through education, and the development of codes, standards and guidelines. Frank Foster, CTI Membership Committee Chair, gave an opening keynote presentation titled CTI Engineering Resources & Cooling Tower Thermal Performance Certification.

Frank Foster, Consultant and Membership Committee Chair, Cooling Technology Institute. 


CTI also held a three-hour conference session, focused on fundamentals of cooling towers, adiabatic coolers, and cooling tower water treatment. Mark Pfeifer, PE, LEED AP BD+C, Sr. Manager of Technical Services, SPX Cooling Tech, kicked off the session with cooling tower fundamentals and design. Pfeifer covered principles of operation, selection parameters, tower types, tower components, capacity control, sound, and water consumption. Next, Andrew Sickler, Baltimore Aircoil, presented fundamentals of adiabatic heat rejection. Sickler shared technology comparisons between dry & adiabatic vs. evaporative cooling systems, principles of operation, water and energy comparisons, and more. After lunch, Jon Cohen, Buckman Chemical covered water chemistry 101, the objectives of water treatment, cycles of concentration, bleed control, generic water treatment programs, feed & control equipment, and more.

Mark Pfeifer, PE, LEED AP BD+C, Sr. Manager – Technical Services, SPX Cooling Tech speaking at the Conference. 


Bert Wesley, Sr. Principal, Woodard & Curran, presented Engineering Cooling Systems for Maximum Production Output in the Plenary Session.

“Our number one objective for cooling water system design is to deliver the correct amount of cooling at the correct temperature and flow rate across all production speeds,” said Wesley. 

Clayton Penhallegon Jr., Principal, Integrated Services Group, chaired a session called Advanced Cooling Water System Design for Reliability and Performance. To begin the session, Brian Justice, Hudson Technologies presented Mystery of Industrial Chiller Failures Solved with Creative Testing. Justice shared how a system assessment determined copper chloride had formed in components of a problematic water-cooled chiller contaminating refrigerant and making the water conductive. The system was flushed until all solids were removed and conductivity of the flush outlet water was similar to the inlet water. Along with other measures, Justice’s team reclaimed the contaminated refrigerant back to AHRI 700 standards for resale, and recharged the problem chiller with certified reclaimed refrigerant. 

Brian Justice, Hudson Technologies, speaking at the Conference. 


Next, Suzan Sun-Yuan, PE, CDT, LEED AP, Technical Authority - Mechanical, ESD Consulting/Stantec, presented Central Utility Plant (CUP) Promises Reliability, Reduced Capital Cost, and Energy Savings. Sun-Yuan presented her system design work at the Las Vegas Convention Center – recognized as a 2023 Honorable Mention in the ASHRAE Technology Award Competition (V: Public Assembly). She provided an overview of the CUP with (4) 1,750-ton 4,160 voltage centrifugal chillers with VFD and (4) crossflow cooling towers, and variable primary and variable secondary systems. She also shared the equipment sizing strategies used, the main system distribution and load reduction strategies, plus the design standardization, CUP operation and maintenance.

Mike Wlodarski, Hydrothrift presented Cooling Towers/Well Water Isolation with a Liquid-to-Liquid Heat Exchanger System, to discuss scale prevention on point-of-use high temperature surface such as aftercoolers, intercoolers and oil coolers in a water-cooled air compressor. 

Penhallegon presented Holistic Cooling System Controls – the Secret Ingredient for High Efficiency Operation. Cooling plant system-wide controls are critical to efficient operation, according to Penhallegon. He shared three typical control situations found: Unit/device controls only – “no controls” [25% - air-cooled or simple]; Isolation/Focused Controls – “Standalone Controls” [55% - typical]; and Typical Function Systems – “Standard System Controls” [20% - Larger Plants].

Dan Mizesko, President of Dalkia U.S. Chiller Services, presented Most Chillers Are Operating Above Their Design Efficiency! Rebecca Moore with Aggreko presented Water Consumption and Environmental Impact: How to Reduce Water Usage While Maintaining Production Goals.

The Women in Compressed Air, Vacuum & Cooling (WCVC) Networking Group held its inaugural luncheon sponsored by Ingersoll Rand and Quincy Compressor on Day 1 of the event. At the end of Day 1, attendees enjoyed rooftop views of Chicago during the Networking Event, sponsored by BEKO Technologies, Sullair, Mikropor and Aggreko. 

The inaugural Women in Compressed Air, Vacuum & Cooling (WCVC) Networking luncheon.


Exhibitor Sampling

Atlas Copco Compressors offers the TCX 4-90A Process Cooling Chiller Range – a compact, all-in-one water (or water/glycol mix) chiller with an air-cooled condenser and integrated hydro module. Key components of the TCX range include all-aluminum microchannel condensers, fully hermetic scroll compressors, an 1P54 sound attenuated canopy design with galvanized steel structure and more. It’s cooling capacity ranges from 13.877 – 326.4 BTU/hr (reference condition: ambient air 95°F, evaporator in 53.6°F / out 45°F without pump). 

John Senay, Leslie Marshall, Jack Gusciora, Chris Dominick and Paul Humphreys at the Atlas Copco Compressors booth (left to right). 


Delta Cooling Towers made its debut at the Best Practices EXPO. Headquartered in Roxbury Township, NJ, Delta Cooling Towers is a leader in manufacturing of high-density polyethylene (HDPE) evaporative cooling towers. Delta’s team was excited to share they’re expanding its manufacturing facility in Philippi, West Virginia. 

Jay Flaherty and Dave Blodgett at the Delta Cooling Towers booth (left to right). 


Mikropor offers its MCHILL Water Process Chillers, available in 18 sizes from 1.7 – 55.3 tons. Its standard components include hermetic scroll compressor (R-410A), aluminum microchannel refrigerant condenser with variable speed EC fan motor, thermostatic expansion valves, brazed plate stainless steel evaporator, integrated cold storage tank, 3 bar integrated centrifugal water pump and electronic control with mobile app support.

Dave Lange, Volkan Ayhan, Jeff Crutchfield, Aaron Duke, Ryan Loeffler, Stephanie Glassman and Chris Wells at the Mikropor America booth (left to right). 


SMC Corporation of America offers an array of process chillers including high efficiency, large capacity, dual channel, rack mount and more. 

Sahith Sanike and Parker Beck at the SMC Corporation of America booth (left to right). 


Brentwood Industries displayed its engineered fill media and components for cooling tower applications.

Along with its compressed air treatment and gas generation equipment, nano-purification solutions offers the C1 range of precision controlled industrial process chillers. The C1 range of 24 factory models achieves cooling capacities from 0.6 – 104.6 tons (6,284 – 1,255,668 BTU/h). 

Todd Allison and Jim McFadden at the nano booth (left to right). 


Industrial Water Chiller, a T.J. Snow company, enjoyed the show. “We’re having a good year, but after all the people we met today, next year could be a great year!” said Don Joyce, National Sales Manager. 

Don Joyce and Hamilton Terrell at the Industrial Water Chiller booth (left to right). 


Frank Foster and Jalene Fritz at the CTI booth (left to right). 


On Day 1 and 2, attendees from manufacturing plants, engineering firms, mechanical contractors and manufacturers representatives participated in the Daily $1,000 Energy Treasure Hunt Raffle. Lucky winners included:

  • Julio Marquez, Solaire Compresores
  • William Qualls, Teknor Apex
  • Sean Ferris, Universal Creative
  • Jacob Key, Nissan
  • Abdulaziz Dulaijan, Saudi Aramco 
  • Bridgette Graham, Compressed Air & Equipment

Roderick Smith (Best Practices Expo) congratulates Jacob Key (Energy Engineer, Nissan) for winning $500 at the Daily EXPO $1,000 Energy Treasure Hunt Raffle!


Over 1,000 attendees attended the Best Practices 2023 EXPO & Conference. The Best Practices 2024 EXPO & Conference occurs October 29-31, 2024 at the Cobb Galleria Centre in Atlanta, GA. For more information about participating, contact us or visit www.cabpexpo.com. 

To learn more about the Best Practices 2024 EXPO & Conference please visit https://cabpexpo.com/.

Visit our Webinar Archives to listen to expert presentations on Chiller & Cooling Best Practices at https://coolingbestpractices.com/magazine/webinars