System Assessments

This article explores the distinction between standard system controls and holistic controls for highly efficient process cooling systems. Examples of high performance controls features and implementations are provided, and screening questions are listed for initial investigation of existing system and potential new systems.

Process cooling systems are mandatory components of the production infrastructure in many plants. System efficiency is second only to operational performance (i.e. meeting the process requirements) in the design and operation of these systems, and many companies go to great lengths to attain system efficiency.  Many times, unfortunately, the actual system performance is well below the hoped for efficiency target.
This article will discuss the instrumentation typically found in cooling systems and other plant utility systems, what other instruments and gauges should be used, how the instrumentation should be used, and good maintenance practices for instrumentation.
This article will be of particular interest to industrial system operators unfamiliar with tankless (primarily closed) systems who may be considering either installing new systems without tanks or removing existing open tanks.  The topics covered step through an understanding of tankless systems while also including tank system pointers and insights on converting systems with tanks into tankless systems. 
This article will explore the Cooling Technologies Institute (CTI) Standard 201 (STD-201) Thermal Certification This article will explore the Cooling Technology Institute (CTI) Standard 201 (STD-201) Thermal Certification Program, share perspective from leading cooling tower manufacturers, and cover other existing and evolving CTI test codes, standards and certifications. This article will also emphasize the investment and bandwidth contributed to CTI by cooling tower manufacturers for the benefit of the industry and its end users. 
An Illinois food service products manufacturer now saves nearly 60% of their base annual cooling energy costs through improvements made in three phases over several years. The plant, which has a 1200 ton chilled water plant, implemented upgrades including pump and tower fan VFDs and enhanced function controls, free cooling, and chiller compressor drive retrofits. The revisions built through successive phases to capture further benefits from more complete utilization of the preceding steps’ capabilities.
The Sterling Heights facility, producing jet engines for the U.S. Army, has undergone extensive overhauls and re-tooling in the last decade. In 2010, Stellantis announced it would invest nearly $850 million in a new state-of-the-art paint shop at the SHAP Site, as well as the installation of new machinery, tooling and material-handling equipment. The following year, the company added another $165 million to the investment to build a one million-square-foot body shop. 
The electrification of heating presents a significant opportunity to achieve decarbonization goals by reducing or eliminating the use of fossil fuels in traditional building systems such as boilers. The current geopolitical scenario has caused commodity prices to quickly rise and forced businesses, cities and countries to rethink their future dependance on fossil fuels and accelerate the conversion to sustainable alternatives.
An Illinois protective packaging manufacturer was able to reduce their cooling costs by over 60% while also saving around $100,000 each year on system maintenance by replacing their old system with high-efficiency equipment and a streamlined hydronic design.  Helped by ComEd efficiency incentives, the plant captured these benefits through an under 2.4 year payback system upgrade project.
With the approaching HFC phasedown, the demand for environmentally friendly cooling systems is driving chiller manufacturers to innovate. Washington-based Pro-Refrigeration, Inc., a leading manufacturer and supplier of chillers for the industrial and beverage processing market, including the dairy, beer and wine industries, recognized an opportunity with CO2 chillers. 
Like many universities across America, The University of Cincinnati had a major challenge having to operate aging central utility plants with older technology, reduced efficiencies and capacities, with chilled water equipment at the end of its service life. Even so, UC needed to maintain plant operations under diverse load conditions, including critical hospital utility demands that are currently expanding and in daily periods subject to energy tariff.