American Services commercial HVAC maintenance near Overland knows that HVAC systems are the largest energy users in most commercial and institutional facilities. That being said they have become targets for maintenance and engineering managers seeking to reduce energy use in their facilities. HVAC systems vary depending on the application, but most share a few key characteristics. By focusing on the “four largest HVAC energy wasters”, maintenance and engineering managers can begin to maximize energy savings, and see the return on investment.
History has shown that of all building systems chillers are the single largest users of electricity in just about all buildings tested. This means that even minor improvements in operating efficiency can result in significant savings. Oversizing is the single largest cause of energy waste in chiller systems. Building chillers typically are designed to carry the largest cooling load that occurs during a typical year in the facility, even though this load might only last for only a few hours.
The remainder of the time the chiller system operates at a reduced load, sometimes a greatly reduced load. Where the problem lies for maintenance and engineering managers is that chillers run at their peak efficiency only when they operate at or near full load conditions. As the load on the chiller decreases so does the unit’s operating efficiency.
If the facility has multiple chillers managers can improve operating efficiency by staging the operation of the chillers, that is to say when the cooling load within the facility is relatively low operate only one chiller online. As the load increases additional units can come online to meet increased need for cooling.
Option two is to install a variable frequency drive (VFD) on the chiller’s motor. This device automatically reduces the operating speed of the chiller to match cooling load requirements.
Maintenance managers and engineers will be happy to know they can expect the VFDs to reduce chiller energy use by 30 percent annually.