System Assessments

Have you ever woken in the middle of the night in a cold sweat wondering if your plant is using more energy than it should, putting you at a disadvantage as compared to your competition? Even if your energy monitoring or energy management system is in place you may not have the required insight to improve your performance and keep you competitive.

Hydronic balancing in industrial heating and cooling systems is an often overlooked final step in startup and commissioning of new and modified hydronic systems.  Insisting on a complete system balance upon startup of a new or modified system is an inexpensive insurance policy for any design engineer or installation contractor to protect their reputation against a system that is not performing to design conditions.  There are several methods of hydronic system balancing utilized in commercial and hospitality buildings, however, they are rarely found in the manufacturing and industrial environments.
Anecdotal reports from users of Tower Tech cooling towers across the U.S. have indicated the Tower Tech design provides substantial savings to the customer both in terms of lower chemical treatment requirements and substantial water savings. There are a number of mechanisms by which the Tower Tech design facilitates efficient, lower cost water treatment and usage. A few are described in this article.
While the chiller is the heart of a chilled water system, its support system of components and controls are equally critical to maintain and manage to ensure the highest system efficiency levels are attained. Emphasis is often placed on the chiller since it is the most visible and typically the highest energy element of a chilled water system. Yet, if you look beyond the flanges, there’s an opportunity to improve delivery of chilled water to the airside or process loads and maximize system efficiency.  
Controlled cooling is an essential part of manufacturing polyethylene stretch film.  The process starts with granulated polyethylene raw product with very low strength, and develops thin, clear, strong film used in a variety of applications.  It does this by melting, extrusion, “casting” and winding.  See Figure 1 for a typical system diagram.  “Casting” is forming and cooling at the same time.  The extruded polymer is stretched and cooled on large, chrome-plated rollers with cooling water flowing inside.  Thinner film is for manual use, like wrapping around food products.  Thicker, stronger product is made for machine use, like automatically wrapping pallets of concrete bags.
Chrysler’s Technology Center (CTC), located in Auburn Hills, MI, is home to some fourteen thousand employees responsible for keeping the automotive giant in motion. Completed in 1991, the complex is essentially a small city, encompassing 5.3 million square feet situated on over 500 acres. In addition to corporate offices, the facility houses a full laboratory level of various wind tunnels with thermal testing capabilities, a 1.8-mile evaluation road, a noise/vibration facility, an electromagnetic compatibility center, an environmental test center (able to create rain, snow and extreme temperatures), and a pilot production plant.
This major mill complex upgraded their compressed air system and thereby eliminated $500,000 in annual rental compressor costs, reduced annual cooling-water costs by $500,000, and reduced electrical energy costs by $135,000 per year.
Pepco Energy Services’ (PES) Midtown Thermal Control Center (MTCC) in Atlantic City, New Jersey, sells chilled water and steam to multiple Atlantic City casinos, Boardwalk Hall and Pier Shops. PES is also responsible for stand-alone remote heating and cooling plants for the Atlantic City’s major casino’s as well as the Atlantic City Convention Center including its 2.4 Mw solar array.
Process cooling system applications experiencing constant production loads generating high process fluid temperatures are particularly good candidates to take advantage of low ambient temperatures. Low ambient temperatures can be used as a “free” energy source, replacing the electricity required to run refrigeration compressors, in what is known as a free-cooling chiller system.
Pepco Energy Services’ (PES) Midtown Thermal Control Center (MTCC) in Atlantic City, New Jersey, sells chilled water and steam to multiple Atlantic City casinos, Boardwalk Hall and Pier Shops. PES is also responsible for stand-alone remote heating and cooling plants for the Atlantic City’s major casino’s as well as the Atlantic City Convention Center including its 2.4 Mw solar array.
Visitors to the Frigel booth W7991 at NPE 2015 will get a close look at the world’s most efficient and sustainable plastics process cooling system – now more adaptable to meet plastics processors’ specific needs. Among the latest Frigel innovations on display will be the new 3PR Intelligent Control System, which provides processors with even easier and more precise control over their Frigel cooling systems. Featuring a unique 7", full-color touch screen interface, 3PR allows processors to achieve better closed-loop process cooling system accuracy with more data points at their fingertips.