Technology

Snail mail. Rolodexes. Boomboxes. We’ve given up the familiarity of the past for the promise of the future. But is the same happening in the chiller industry? Is the push for lower global warming potential (GWP) refrigerants changing the industry as we know it? In some ways, yes. But, in the United States in particular, the change may be more gradual than it appears at first glance.

While most rely on chemicals for water treatment, others are finding success in what can be accurately and fairly described as a green solution because it takes the form of a moss. More precisely, this plant-based alternative to chemical water treatment leverages the properties of sphagnum moss, and it’s being harvested, processed and sold as ProMoss™ to companies throughout North America by Creative Water Solutions (CWS), Plymouth, Minnesota.
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.
Absorption chillers have been around for more than 75 years, with several thousand chillers operating successfully all over the world today. Yet myths about cost, operation and performance surround this technology, particularly in North America. Look beyond the myths and you’ll discover absorption cooling technology can be efficient, cost-effective, flexible and reliable.
Xcel Energy is headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and is the largest electrical energy provider in Colorado. The company recently upgraded its refrigerant monitoring systems at its Chilled Water building in downtown Denver, creating an efficient and reliable method for continuous monitoring of refrigerant used in 16 chillers in different locations – while supporting the need for safety, system performance, and reductions in energy and refrigerant costs.
Xcel Energy is headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and is the largest electrical energy provider in Colorado. The company recently upgraded its refrigerant monitoring systems at its Chilled Water building in downtown Denver, creating an efficient and reliable method for continuous monitoring of refrigerant used in 16 chillers in different locations – while supporting the need for safety, system performance, and reductions in energy and refrigerant costs.
For decades, evaporative cooling has been the principal means to regulate the temperature of buildings. And with more than 50% of total building water usage dedicated to heat transfer, there are major opportunities for water savings.
Cooling towers can use several power transmission technologies, including a gear drive, belt drive, direct drive, and electronically commutated (EC) drive. Each has advantages and disadvantages. The proper selection strikes an appropriate balance of initial cost versus operating costs.
Cooling large buildings typically requires the use of air- or water-cooled chillers that produce chilled water, which then cools the air. About 39% of buildings over 100,000 square feet use chilled-water systems employing various refrigeration compressor designs.
How often do you think about your cooling tower or the fill that provides the cooling engine for your process? Unfortunately, if you’re like many plant operators, your cooling tower is but one piece of equipment in your large facility, and its ranking on your priority list is probably lower than many other expensive and more intricate pieces of equipment in your plant.
Commercial buildings in the United States will be looking to replace centrifugal chillers as many are near or past their median replacement life of 25 years. This becomes apparent when you consider nearly half of all commercial buildings were constructed before 1980 according to data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration. The same can be said of buildings on American college campuses, which according to the same data, more than half of which were built before 1990. Bottom line — if you’re a commercial building owner or a facility manager/director in the United States, you may need to replace a chiller.