Smart Technology for Significant Chiller Energy Savings

In the average building, chillers account for between 35 and 50 percent of energy expenditures. Even minor adjustments in chiller efficiency can significantly lower the overall overhead of your business. Chiller efficiency and its relationship to the Internet of Things will be on everyone’s mind this weekend at the AHR Expo 2017 in Las Vegas, NV.

Magnetic bearing chillers are a quantum leap in chiller technology. They can save a single business $4 million over the life of the chiller in energy costs. These new chillers don’t require oil, or mechanical seals and gears. This ensures a far longer lifespan. At the same time, it can dramatically increase efficiency of the chiller. The U.S. Naval Facility in Newport, Rhode Island saw an energy savings of 65 percent when switching over to these new chillers. What’s more, you don’t have to change out the gaskets, bearings or seals. In terms of total cost of ownership and downtime, magnetic bearing chillers are far superior even to the chillers being producers 10-15 years ago.

Fortunately, it’s not necessary to reinvent the wheel to increase the efficiency of your chillers. The Internet of Things automates efficiency with very little upfront cost. Daikin has just released two chillers (one scroll, one screw) capable of natively monitoring energy consumption at the equipment level. This provides facility managers with a robust, streamlined solution to reduce overall energy costs without any headaches.

In fact, 2017 is set to be the year of the smart building. Internet of Things-enabled chillers will play a vital role in keeping building maintenance costs down and reducing environmental impact without skimping on keeping the building cool. What’s more, IoT-enabled chillers take the burden of scheduling maintenance off of the facilities manager. In some cases, the chillers will be able to order their own replacement parts and maintenance equipment before you even know there’s a problem. When off-site maintenance crews show up, they won’t need you to tell them what’s wrong with the chiller. They’ll already have a host of metrics to help them make the right repairs, helping to save you money on man hours and reduce downtime.

While the Internet of Things will provide significant improvements in efficiency, those won’t matter much with dirty chiller tubes. The RAM-PRO-XL Contractor simultaneously cleans your chiller tubes while preventing corrosion after cleaning. You know how quickly your tubes can start oxidizing and corroding during cleaning. The RAM-PRO-XL Contractor Chiller Tube Cleaner’s TubeGuard system makes sure that won’t happen. The tablet-based system uses biodegradable cleaners without sacrificing anything in the way of power.

Combine the latest advancements in connected technology with robust maintenance tools for optimum performance in your chillers. And if you happen to be attending the AHR Expo this year, make sure to check out our exhibit at Central Hall – C4328.

Your Guide for Top Innovations and where to find them at AHR Expo 2017

Innovation will take center stage at the AHR Expo 2017. The Innovation Awards recipients this year represent the very forefront not just of HVAC, but of the trend toward automation, smart buildings and Internet of Things integration. This new industry trend, poised to explode in the coming year, can save your company and clients tens of thousands of dollars through efficiency and optimization.

Next week the industry will be introduced to Telkonet’s EcoSmart VRF Controller. This is one of the first devices offering control of variable refrigerant flow HVAC systems. The controller operates on the EcoSmart platform, one of the most flexible platforms in the HVAC industry. With VRF technology reducing energy costs by 30 to 40 percent, the time is right for smart controllers that will help to reduce those costs even further. Find it at exhibit C970.

KMC Commander from KMC Controls, Inc. is an enterprise-class IoT control platform for building and operations management. You can visualize your operations in real time and access them straight from your mobile device. This is for any larger enterprises looking to maximize efficiency, safety and comfort, while minimizing energy consumption, saving your company thousands of dollars per year. Check it out at exhibit C1552.

PMPost is an IoT-enabled particle sensor able to measure particles in 10, 2.5 and 1 micrometer. You can monitor your readings in real time through a web portal. Measure particles in your clean room or construction site with the most accurate and up-to-date information. You can see the PMPost at exhibit C1758.

The SMART Air Hood™ Balancing Instrument from Dwyer Instruments measures the airflow in HVAC systems, including grilles, diffusers and registers. It’s also the first in its industry to offer predictive airflow balancing. This sets the perfect flow setpoint for each individual diffuser, while maintaining the appropriate balance for the HVAC system as a whole. See this at exhibit C4124.

You don’t need to be fully connected to use the VG200W Wireless Digital Vacuum Gauge. It works just fine on its own or connected to a smart device utilizing the free VGLink application. Completely wireless, the device provides not just measurements, but also diagnostics, monitoring, testing verification and support, streamlining your maintenance process and preventing problems before they happen. Find it at exhibit C2322.

There will also be a variety of chillers, including those with game-changing magnetic bearing technology. With magnetic bearing technology you never have to change gaskets, bearings or seals ever again, because they don’t use oil. They also boast significant savings, such as the U.S. Naval Facility in Newport, Rhode Island that found a 65 percent energy savings when switching over to magnetic bearing technology.

If you agree that chiller maintenance is a key to optimizing energy efficiency, come check out Goodway’s exhibit C4328. We’ll show you the next generation of chiller tube cleaning, RAM-PRO-XL. Our most advanced tube cleaner yet, this product will prevent corrosion even while the chiller is offline after cleaning. Combined with emerging Internet of Things technologies, your company can reap a significant savings on your overall energy costs.

Why Chiller Efficiency and Maintenance are Key Facility Investments

screen-shot-2016-12-19-at-11-21-30-amTypically, a chiller is the single largest consumer of power and most expensive piece of equipment in a building, so it’s logical to allocate time and budget towards energy efficiency and equipment maintenance.

Without routine chiller maintenance, energy usage can double in just a few years and components can fail early, causing service interruptions. Poor maintenance procedures also lead to declining equipment reliability, the service life of a chiller can be reduced by 25% to 50%, according to an article in Facilitiesnet.com.

“While many managers look to chiller retrofits, system add-ons, or even replacements to improve efficiency, many overlook the single most important factor in determining both chiller efficiency and reliability: maintenance,” according to the article.

Chiller system efficiency is also a worthwhile investment because for every $1 facility managers invest in chiller maintenance, they can “expect a return of $10 dollars in the form of reduced operating costs and fewer breakdown maintenance repairs,” the article notes.

There are several chiller tube cleaning methods. One method is chemical cleaning, where a chemical solution – an acid, in some cases – is circulated through the chiller to clean the tubes.

An alternative method is a mechanical approach. Some manual chiller tube cleaning methods involve pushing a brush through each tube, then flushing afterward. However, the residue left after the brush is pushed through may dry on the surface before flushing, and the subsequent water flush will not remove it.

Another mechanical cleaning system rotates a cleaning brush or buffing tool attached to a motorized flexible shaft through the chiller tube while water-flushing the tube at the same time. The advantages of this system are that the tubes are given a thorough scouring and the simultaneous water flush allows the tubes to be completely cleaned before they dry.

By performing regular maintenance of chiller systems, facilities can decrease energy costs, extend operational efficiency, reduce power loads as well as save money on labor, equipment, and other associated costs.

A maintenance program for chillers also helps a facility with its sustainable goals by extending the life of the HVAC system and reducing energy consumption.

The best time to do regular chiller maintenance is in the winter or early spring when the chiller systems are not in use. To prevent the buildup of scale and sediment you must maintain the chiller tubes according to the manufacturer’s directions.

Next Steps:

• Download our HVAC Preventive Maintenance Checklist.
• Learn how Goodway can help extend the efficiency and operation of chiller systems.

How Chemical Descalers Clean and Maintain Boilers, Chillers and Cooling Towers

In this “Just Venting Podcast,” Ray Field, the Director of Goodway Liquid Solutions, discusses the physical and financial impact of scale build-up on boilers, chillers and cooling towers. Ray also provides tips on how to avoid expensive repairs, improve energy efficiency and decrease electrical costs by implementing an effective maintenance plan.

 

Chill Out: Chemical Descaling of Condensers Maximizes Efficiency

Chiller-Tube-Cleaners-Before-After

Chiller units — open loop or closed loop — naturally experience performance degradations over time. As noted by Facilities Net, chillers and companion condenser units are often the single biggest energy spend in an organization and despite predictive maintenance methods such as vibration analysis, infrared thermography and rotor bar testing, scale and foiling still occurs. Here’s a look at the impact of scale on your condenser system and the steps you can take to maximize efficiency.

Sources and Spending

To limit the impact of condenser fouling you need to identify the source. If you’re running an open loop system, the biggest problem comes from the water source itself — minerals and other particulate matter can quickly cause scale to build up if water isn’t properly treated before being transferred to the chiller. In closed loop systems, the cooling tower itself becomes the key source of contaminants, which in turn make their way into condensers and drive the growth of scale build-up.

As noted by Innovas even small amounts of scale in your system result in big impacts. For example, a 2000 ton chiller running 3000 hours a year with an energy efficiency rating of 0.65 kW/ton gives an energy cost of $0.09 kW/hr. With just 0.006 of scale, energy costs jump $14,000 per year. At 0.036 inches, extra costs skyrocket to $95,000 per year.

Saving the System

So how do you maximize chiller efficiency and ensure you’re not wasting money on fouled condensers? ACHR News and Facilities Net suggest a few straightforward methods, including:

  • Increased Chill Water Temperature — Even increasing the chill water temperature a degree offers a 2 to 4 percent energy efficiency increase
  • Treat Water Aggressively — ACHR recommends combining an aggressive biocide plan with scale and corrosion protection practices to limit scale production.
  • Ensure a Leak-Free Unit — Leaks in condenser and chiller units introduce air into the system which significantly lowers efficiency and can also cause interior rust build-up. In high-pressure units, leaks can release hazardous gasses into the nearby atmosphere.
  • Keep Daily Logs — Keeping track of day-to-day condenser performance allows you to conduct regular data comparison and ensure you’re meeting efficiency targets.

Despite best efforts, chances are you will need to deal with scale eventually. Best bet? Leverage a high-quality chemical descaling treatment in early spring or winter months when condensers and chillers aren’t on high-use cycles. Worth noting, however, is that even minor scale build-up always trumps existing descale plans since the energy loss simply isn’t worth waiting for regular maintenance. While this may mean an unexpected shutdown of chillers for several days and a commensurate drop in productivity, this cost is minimal compared with the exponential expense of fouled condenser systems.

Scale is a cooling tower’s worst enemy: Design an effective PM procedure and descale on demand to ensure maximum efficiency. 

Next Steps:

Subscribe to our Seasonal HVAC System Efficiency Podcast Series. This time of year our focus is on Boilers, Chillers and Cooling Towers.

Cold Current: The Shock of Dirty Chillers


RPXL_UChiller maintenance
isn’t always top priority for companies. It’s understandable—if chillers are working as intended, why spend time and effort searching for potential problems? Aside from yearly cleanings it’s easy to ignore the problem of dirty chillers unless they’re causing an immediate issue. But fouled chillers can drive down revenue and as noted by CSE Magazine, can also pose a risk to HVAC personnel.

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Product of the Year? TFC-200 Shortlisted by Plant Engineering

TFC-200Every November, Plant Engineering rounds up the best of the best—equipment which stands out from the competition—for their “Product of the Year” program. This year, Goodway’s TFC-200 Tower Fill Cleaner was shortlisted in the Maintenance Tools & Equipment category; following the November 12th announcement, Plant Engineering subscribers can vote for their favorites which will appear in the magazine’s April issue. Undecided about who deserves your vote? Here’s a look at the TFC-200.

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Foul Play? Cooling Tower Cleanliness Key to Plant Efficiency

Foul Play? Cooling Tower Cleanliness Key to Plant EfficiencyAt most commercial and industrial plants, chiller systems get the lion’s share of investment, attention, and maintenance. It’s no wonder: HVAC plant chillers account for approximately 45 percent of utility costs and use more than five times the energy of cooling towers on average. As a result, companies are willing to invest in tube wire brushing, chemical descaling, and eddy current monitoring to keep these systems running.

What’s often overlooked, however, is the direct link between cooling tower performance and chiller efficiency—if fouled, towers can bog down an entire plant or even spread infectious diseases such as Legionella. Bottom line? Clean towers are key to better cooling.

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The Big Chill: Three Keys to Staying Cool

The Big Chill: Three Keys to Staying CoolMany companies now rely on industrial water chillers to maximize heat exchange efficiency. But it’s easy to fall behind on maintenance and upkeep because the system is “working as intended”—right up until it fails completely. Fortunately staying cool isn’t so difficult a task, so long as you’re willing to follow three keys for the big chill.

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Listeria Forces Washington Seafood Processor to Cease Operations

In March, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) ordered a Seattle, Washington processor of smoked fish products to stop operating, requiring the manufacturer to completely cease processing, preparing, packing or distributing any food at its facility.

production of minced meatThe manufacturer, Jensen’s Old Fashioned Smokehouse Inc., provides private-label foods to high-profile retailers including Wal-Mart and Target.

The FDA had analyzed some samples it collected during an inspection at the company’s facility. The samples confirmed there was Listeria monocytogenes at the plant, including in the company’s food processing and storage areas.

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