System Assessments

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.

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. 
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.
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.
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. 
A technology called, “cool storage” offers a reliable, cost-effective means of managing electricity costs while ultimately helping to limit greenhouse gas emissions. The technology allows facilities to take advantage of less costly electricity available at night and functionally save that energy for use at a later time. Cool storage achieves this performance by using ice or chilled water as a medium for storing and deploying energy.
Free cooling is a type of process cooling system design that takes advantage of ambient temperatures to reduce or even eliminate chiller operation. Chillers consume large amounts of energy; so, reducing a chiller’s operating hours per year can result in significant bottom line savings for your company.  In this article, we will review a typical free cooling system design, some of the considerations for your system, and finally, how these considerations impact your system’s ability to capitalize on the free cooling operation.
For the Production Support team at the expansive Quad printing plant in Sussex, Wis., there isn’t one way to manage the operation’s complex and elaborate process cooling system. Rather, the formula for success involves a three-pronged approach that includes carefully measuring and monitoring system performance, diligently and proactively maintaining equipment to ensure peak efficiencies, and investing in updated equipment based on sound decision making. 
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. 
Reducing fossil fuel use is key to meeting the dual goal of carbon and energy cost reduction. A Full Heat Recovery Engagement (FHRE) approach can dramatically reduce both, through applying simple principles and using existing technology. Simple measures can help focus the design of both the buildings served and the systems used to achieve these goals.