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In Focus: Leveraging Applications Experts and Tools for Effective HVAC Systems

Given the complexity of HVAC systems, their impact on performance, and the investment required, leveraging the expertise of HVAC manufacturer applications can be a critical enhancement.

Q4 2015
A heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system is not an off-the-shelf purchase, as there are many details in the design and operation of the system that can impact performance. Designing a HVAC system for maximum energy efficiency, reliability, serviceability, and sustainability requires broad expertise in various technologies and a thorough understanding of key considerations in system design.

Having the right team and leveraging design resources and tools — including HVAC manufacturer applications experts — is critical when selecting a system best suited for a building’s application requirements. These applications experts work with a variety of systems and bring focused expertise and specialty knowledge when judging which system would be most appropriate for a specific application. Energy modeling and building simulation tools can be used to provide a detailed analysis that will help determine the preferred total cost of ownership design.

Furthermore, HVAC manufacturer applications engineers can help identify how changes in building usage and needs may affect performance in the future, and how best to provide and implement a resilient system design. These HVAC applications experts bring a deep understanding in applying various technologies to projects. From high-level scoping tools to more detailed analysis tools and building energy simulation tools, applications experts can assist with evaluation of technology options at any point in the design process.

An Example
Working with these applications experts can bring value to a variety of projects. For example, an industrial facility in a southern climate was recently planning to perform a regular overhaul shutdown of its production line. Process cooling is a fundamental part of the production line, and it operates 24/7 requiring continuous cooling. The company was looking for opportunities to make changes to reduce energy use during its short shutdown period.

Designing a HVAC system for maximum energy efficiency, reliability, serviceability, and sustainability requires broad expertise in various technologies and a thorough understanding of key considerations in system design. Cooling towers simultaneously supplied a constant temperature of water directly to a process for cooling and to the condensers of chillers providing additional process cooling. The ability to produce an optimized water temperature to the chiller condensers would reduce the system energy use, but the direct process cooling needs could not accept varying water temperature.

After studying various options, the company arrived at a cost-effective solution that separated the direct cooling system from the chiller heat rejection system, allowing independent temperature control of each heat rejection system. The chilled water system would now be able to realize the benefits of optimized control of condenser water temperature without compromising other parts of the process. This solution was arrived at as a result of detailed discussions with the chiller manufacturer’s system experts.

Quickly Evolving Technologies
The efficiencies and benefits that HVAC manufacturer applications experts can offer are also available to help with packaged solutions or other smaller applications. With increasing performance demands on HVAC systems, new technologies are quickly evolving. For example, available systems today can greatly improve indoor air quality, as those requirements have changed over time. Factory testing HVAC systems and equipment is becoming a common practice for customers and should be considered to ensure the desired performance is achieved as specified. Factory testing is another way to leverage the knowledge and experience of HVAC manufacturer experts.

Given the complexity of HVAC systems and the investment that companies and organizations make in their HVAC systems, leveraging HVAC manufacturer applications expertise can be a critical enhancement to a system design team and to achieving the desired performance and efficiency of the building system.

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