Medical Construction & Design

JUL-AUG 2015

Medical Construction & Design (MCD) is the industry's leading source for news and information and reaches all disciplines involved in the healthcare construction and design process.

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BUILDING CARE & OPERATIONS In today's dif cult economic climate, when fi nancial savings are critical to every healthcare institution, facility managers demand even more from energy systems while looking to spend less. One way to achieve signifi cant energy savings without making a substantial capital investment is through energy monitoring and chiller plant optimization. The greatest energy savings available can be generated from a facility's existing chiller plant operation, where even small tweaks can result in signifi cant improve- ments. Today's web-based monitoring systems can be an ef ective tool for the analysis of large chiller plants and district cooling systems. Built on open standards, they of er networked solutions that collect and format data in real time and defi ned timeframe increments, monitor operations and equipment errors and deliver oversight via web-based alerts and alarms. Based on the information gener- ated, engineers are able to track perfor- mance and remedy any malfunction in order to optimize energy ef ciencies. The monitoring process starts with an initial analysis of chiller plant opera- tions. In most cases, industrial measure- ment devices are installed and existing equipment tested for accuracy. The data from the various systems is pulled together in one platform and routed to an automation system, then pushed to the web every five minutes via ftp; most automation systems that are web-based have the ability to do this very easily. Once the accurate data collection is completed, an evaluation is done to un- derstand how all the chiller components are working and determine the most efficient method of operating the plant. By analyzing chiller operations, the monitoring engineers are able to establish a matrix that selects the most ef cient and cost-ef ective chiller confi guration as a facility's cooling load increases. Optimization steps might include redo- ing the sequencing of cooling towers, balancing the amount of energy consumed by dif erent pieces of equipment and al- lowing chilled water to be generated at the best ef ciency and lowest cost. Other cost-saving measures can be implemented by calibrating temperature sensors and the building automation system, elimi- nating inef ciencies in heat exchanger performance, lowering condenser tem- peratures and ensuring that fl ow through the plant and chillers meets the design tonnages recommended by the equipment manufacturers. Once the initial reconfi gurations have been achieved, the web interface enables continuous remote monitoring of a plant to ensure optimum operation is main- tained. Monthly reports are submitted to the operating team to show actual savings from the enhanced operating strategies and to suggest additional system improve- ments. Monitoring-based commissioning With new hospital facilities, generating ongoing energy savings can be achieved through a comprehensive monitoring- based commissioning, or MBCx, process to ensure all building systems remain "in tune." It is common knowledge that buildings rarely perform as intended. That's why MBCx is beginning to emerge as an important new approach to keep buildings operating at maximum energy ef ciency. Complementing other energy savings strategies, it refers to the "soft" process of verifying performance and design intent and correcting defi ciencies through a continuous web-based monitor- ing program. MBCx incorporates three components: > Permanent energy information systems and diagnostic tools at the whole- building and sub-system level > Retro-commissioning based on the data this generates > Ongoing commissioning that ensures ef cient building operations and measurement-based savings Traditional commissioning is a process designed to ensure all building systems perform interactively according to the design intent and the facility's operational needs. It involves the participation of an owner's representative, architect and engineer of record, as well as indepen- dent third-party commissioning special- ist. The commissioning specialist works with the entire project team to verify ISSUE FOCUS WEB-BASED CHILLER PLANT, BUILDING MONITORING STRETCH ENERGY DOLLARS BY TIMOTHY ANGERAME STAYING IN TUNE Panitanjohn/DollarPhotoClub.com 30 Medical Construction & Design | J U LY/AUGUST 2015 | MCDM AG.COM

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