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  1. #1

    Best way to save money on HVACR energy usage?

    I am looking for opinions or ideas on the best way to save money on energy bills, not including the usual set backs, routine maintenance, or purchasing of a higher efficiency unit. (ex. programming thermostats, HVAC/R control upgrades, etc.)

    On any application, but an emphasis on systems that use compressors for cooling (Chillers, Refrigeration) or any heating.

    Thank You, This is sincerely appreciated.

    P.S. I have been looking into demand response controllers, thermostat dead-ban adjustments, or anything else to help. Its expensive to cool large spaces!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    New Hampshire
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    26
    Do you have an economizer? This will allow you to draw in outside air on days where you need cooling inside and the outside air temperature is lower. Also have your equipment serviced regularily to make sure you are operating at peak performance.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Posts
    28

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Somewhere in the world.
    Posts
    1,606
    Arguing with your Boss is like wrestling with a pig in
    mud.
    After a while you realize that while you are getting
    dirty, the pig is actually enjoying it.

    It is not exactly cheating, I prefer to consider it
    creative problem solving.

    25 years ago we had Bob Hope , Steve Jobs , and Johnny Cash today we have no Hope no Jobs and no Cash !
    I can fix broke but i can't fix stupid !

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Va.
    Posts
    180
    If you have cooling towers you can install "plate & frame" heat exchangers for free cooling.

    bouncer, I like your signature

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Mixing oil and fire with a big spoon.
    Posts
    4,388
    look for ways to turn your system OFF...it is the most efficient way there is!

    things like an economizer, wider deadbands (sorta), dry coolers (if conditions exist), etc. make a big difference.
    When I am late for work, I usually make up for it by leaving early.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Va.
    Posts
    180
    I've never heard the term-dry cooler. Can anyone exlpane. Is it something used in colder climates.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Mount Airy, MD
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    7,281
    Quote Originally Posted by PSUMAN View Post
    I am looking for opinions or ideas on the best way to save money on energy bills, not including the usual set backs, routine maintenance, or purchasing of a higher efficiency unit. (ex. programming thermostats, HVAC/R control upgrades, etc.)

    On any application, but an emphasis on systems that use compressors for cooling (Chillers, Refrigeration) or any heating.

    Thank You, This is sincerely appreciated.

    P.S. I have been looking into demand response controllers, thermostat dead-ban adjustments, or anything else to help. Its expensive to cool large spaces!
    Contact a local Controls Company in you're area to discuss, you would be pleasantly surprised as to just how much we can save using various controls strategies with pay backs in as little as a month.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    1,813
    PHISHER

    Here is the basics for a quick comparison

    Wet cooling towers or simply cooling towers operate on the principle of evaporation. The working fluid and the evaporated fluid (usually H2O) are one and the same.

    Dry coolers operate by heat transfer through a surface that separates the working fluid from ambient air, such as in a heat exchanger, utilizing convective heat transfer. They do not use evaporation.

    Fluid coolers are hybrids that pass the working fluid through a tube bundle, upon which clean water is sprayed and a fan-induced draft applied. The resulting heat transfer performance is much closer to that of a wet cooling tower, with the advantage provided by a dry cooler of protecting the working fluid from environmental exposure.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Va.
    Posts
    180
    guess I should have known that. In all my years in the field I've never heard them refered to as wet or dry though.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Hampton Roads, Virginia
    Posts
    1,605
    Quote Originally Posted by PSUMAN View Post
    I am looking for opinions or ideas on the best way to save money on energy bills, not including the usual set backs, routine maintenance, or purchasing of a higher efficiency unit. (ex. programming thermostats, HVAC/R control upgrades, etc.)

    On any application, but an emphasis on systems that use compressors for cooling (Chillers, Refrigeration) or any heating.

    Thank You, This is sincerely appreciated.

    P.S. I have been looking into demand response controllers, thermostat dead-ban adjustments, or anything else to help. Its expensive to cool large spaces!
    I hate to say this being in the controls business, but most people are better off spending the money on improving the energy efficiency of the building itself, i.e. insulation, doors, windows etc. Only once these items are doing a good job should equipment efficiency or control schemes be considered.

    Kevin
    "Profit is not the legitimate purpose of business. The legitimate purpose of business is to provide a product or service that people need and do it so well that it's profitable."

    James Rouse

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    735
    Quote Originally Posted by PSUMAN View Post
    I am looking for opinions or ideas on the best way to save money on energy bills, not including the usual set backs, routine maintenance, or purchasing of a higher efficiency unit. (ex. programming thermostats, HVAC/R control upgrades, etc.)

    On any application, but an emphasis on systems that use compressors for cooling (Chillers, Refrigeration) or any heating.

    Thank You, This is sincerely appreciated.

    P.S. I have been looking into demand response controllers, thermostat dead-ban adjustments, or anything else to help. Its expensive to cool large spaces!
    1. Improve the structure. Otherwise, you are "closing the barn door after the horse has bolted".
    2. Install controls that can be locked to prevent changes by tenants. Said controls should not display the space temperature.
    3. Put energy saving heating and cooling setpoints in the controls. Heating no higher than 68F, cooling no lower than 75F.
    3. Zones/areas that border each other should have identical setpoints, to avoid the zones fighting one another.
    4. Actually lock the controls once the setpoints are entered.
    5. Put one person in charge of temperature monitoring and maintenance, with an alternate for times when that person is not available. Those persons must have the ability to politely but firmly decline to change setpoints to satisfy individual tenants.
    6. Perform air balance as needed to eliminate trouble areas. It shouldn't be necessary to have a setpoint of 72F in order to maintain one office at 75F.
    7. Make server rooms and other areas that have a high concentration of heat producing equipment their own zones. This may require dedicated equipment. It shouldn't be necessary to run the chiller to cool one room. Keep the doors to this room shut.

    It seems to me that the key to successful energy savings is the on-site manager. I work at facilities where the setpoints are constantly changing because the manager or owner respond to every little demand from the tenants, and it seems that caving to every demand just produces more demands. I work at other facilities that have energy saving settings and I marvel at the lack of service requests. It is a marvelous thing to go into a facility and see every zone maintaining setpoint within one degree, and those setpoints are much more energy-saving than other facilities, and have the property manager say there are no issues.

    Where's the difference? Not the tenants, people are the same. But people will adjust. When management says a policy of energy efficiency is being implemented, there will be complaints. There will always be complaints. But once tenants and occupants come to understand there is no variance, they will adjust. But a key is making sure everyone is in the same boat. You can't have the entire office be 75F except for one office that's 80F.

    I'll shut up now. This happened to hit one of my hot buttons.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    159
    Quote Originally Posted by klrogers View Post
    I hate to say this being in the controls business, but most people are better off spending the money on improving the energy efficiency of the building itself, i.e. insulation, doors, windows etc. Only once these items are doing a good job should equipment efficiency or control schemes be considered.

    Kevin
    Thank god someone else said it!


    Blinds for windows aren't expensive, and I've been suprised at the difference they can make when it comes to hot days/large windows.

    Definately lock-out the tenants ability to adjust things if you can, or restrict them to min/max setpoint positions. The more you react, the more people complain (within reason). If they produce a $2 thermometer, then thump them over the head with it. Politely.

    Use 1 calibrated temp meter (yours) only on site. If the trades keep passing the blame between them then get them both there @ same time.

    Make sure you don't have one 'rogue' zone causing 80% of the energy problems, there's usually one area that was remodeled (ie walls removed) and now spends its time fighting the one next to it.

    Check that sensors that are physically located on perimeter walls don't have a great hole where the cable enters thru the wall. Hot/cold air comes thru, this one can cause BIG problems depending on the building. The sensors are best 'insulated' from the surfaces they are on. The back of Siemens L-Types are a good example of this.

    If thinking about maintenance contract watch out for the number of maintenence hours controls companies will try to sell you, the techs GENERALLY don't bull**** you as much as the managers/sales guys. Don't allow yourself to be impressed by the capabilities of the graphics. 99% of your time will be checking values, and adding/adjusting schedules.

    Get one of those trigger laser temperature meters, not cos they're good meters, but if you carry it in a hip holster you can pull it out like clint eastwood and read the temperature of the wall 30 meters away, then spin it around like a 6 gun and holster it. I mean, who wouldn't give THAT guy money? If you get 2 of them, no-one will ever argue with you again, not even the power company.
    The DDC system... guilty until proven innocent

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