Technology

Do water-cooled chiller plants still deliver lower utility bills? Today, many chiller plant energy analyses carefully account for energy costs, and even energy escalation rates – a factor that projects how fuel costs will increase over time, while ignoring water and wastewater costs associated with cooling towers. While highly effective at transferring heat, cooling towers consume millions of gallons of water each year through the process of evaporation, drift, and blowdown. With the rising cost of water and wastewater, this omission can result in an incomplete picture for the building owner.

Our simplified business model is to melt plastic and cool it back into the form we want – and cooling water makes this happen. We need to optimize chilled water temperature and flow to ensure that our production machines make consistent finished products. In molding application, we cool the plastic through conduction and convection directly. Blown film is different in that cooling-water cools the air and then an air handler cools the plastic.
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.
Hospitals account for nearly 5% of the total energy use in the United States each year. The average 200,000 ft2 facility spends about $13,600 per bed, or roughly $680,000 annually, on energy costs. Why so much? Operating twenty-four hours a day, thousands of employees, patients, and visitors cycle through campus buildings daily. Additionally, hospitals maintain high ventilation rates to lessen the risk of microbial contamination; the conditioning requirements of this outdoor air represents significant energy usage. Lastly, the use of sophisticated imaging equipment, electronic health record systems and other operations generates heat that must be compensated for via the site’s cooling load.
The inefficiency of fossil fuels, along with the negative environmental impact coming from their burning and resulting emissions, is driving companies to find alternative heating and cooling solutions. While renewable sources – such as wind and solar power – are decreasing this impact, other fossil fuel-burning sources need to be replaced with electric-driven alternatives to fully realize their emissions reduction potential. New vapor compression technology can help reduce heating and cooling operations while providing these additional CO2 emissions reductions.
With efficient heat exchange an important requirement in the design of an HVAC system, the type of cooling tower you specify to support your project’s unique cooling goals requires careful consideration. After determining the process parameters required for your application – tonnage, range, and approach – cooling tower capabilities can be analyzed.
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. 
This article discusses using devices known as “waterside economizers” and “dry coolers” as means to achieve “free-cooling”. Free cooling (sometimes referred to as a “free cooling system”) can reduce energy consumption and operating costs by using cold ambient air in lieu of running chiller compressors for cooling loads.
rPlanet Earth is a rarity in the plastics recycling and manufacturing industry. After all, its operation in Vernon, California, is the world’s only vertically integrated facility able to convert polyethylene terephthalate (PET) packaging waste into recycled PET (rPET) packaging for food and beverage industries. Yet, rPlanet Earth is much like any other plastics company in one key aspect: it must maintain production efficiencies to meet growing demand for its high-quality products. 
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.
Chiller & Cooling Best Practices Magazine spoke with Tom Pagliuco, Executive Director Global Energy Engineering at AbbVie, Inc. about best practices for optimizing chilled water systems in today’s pharmaceutical operations.