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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electric motor runs the blades at relatively low speeds through reduction gearing so they move large volumetric fl ow rates at relatively low static pressures. Although cooling towers are rela- tively inexpensive and normally consume around 10 percent of the whole system's energy, their operation has signifi cant ef ect to the energy consumption of other related subsystems. Optimizing cool- ing tower performance will not only increase the tower ef ciencies but also has direct af ect to other subsystems. A poorly operating cooling tower reduces chiller ef ciency and eventu- ally leads to system failures. Most chilled water plants have excess capacity, so that one or more cooling towers aren't operat- ing during low-load hours. To make the most of existing cooling towers, simply run condenser water over as many tow- ers as possible, at the lowest possible fan speed and as often as possible. Cooling tower motors Cooling tower fan motors are a major source of electricity usage, as well as a generator of signifi cant noise. Most towers are installed with a single- or two-speed motor. But as the load on the cooling tower decreases, the fans might operate at a speed not necessary for that load, hampering energy ef ciency. Much has happened in recent years to provide tools to improve motor ef ciency. The federal government has developed energy standards manufacturers must meet. Replacing standard-ef ciency motors with high-ef ciency motors will reduce the energy requirements for that motor by about 2-8 percent. While that might not seem like a major improvement, depend- ing on the horsepower of the motor and the number of hours it operates annually, the energy savings can be signifi cant. The development of high-ef ciency motors was only the fi rst step. Premium- ef ciency motors now meet even higher energy-ef ciency standards and can pro- duce even greater savings. A side benefi t for both energy-ef cient and premium- ef ciency motors is that to meet the energy standards, they require higher-quality com- ponents and more exacting manufacturing processes, resulting in a better motor. High-ef ciency motors not only can save money, they can make money. Some utilities of er rebates for install- ing these motors in new or retrofi t work. In many cases, an upgraded mo- tor can pay for itself in less than a year. Upgrading with high-ef ciency motors is a major part of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's ef ort to improve energy ef ciency. Many resources of er comprehensive information on state, local, utility and federal incentives that promote renewable energy and energy ef ciency. Whether in a new design or an existing ap- plication, upgraded motors of er numerous advantages when used on cooling towers. Government's commitment As part of the Obama Administration's ef ort to double energy productivity by 2030 and reduce carbon emissions in commercial buildings, the Energy Department recently announced $9 mil- lion to encourage investments in energy- saving technologies that can be tested and deployed in hospitals, hotels and other types of commercial buildings. The funding will facilitate the imple- mentation of market-ready solutions across the U.S. to improve commercial building energy ef ciency, with a goal of demon- strating 20 percent savings or more across a variety of approaches. Reducing energy waste in these buildings — and doing so cost-ef ectively — not only would cre- ate well-paying jobs, but also save more than $80 billion per year on energy bills. The U.S. Department of Energy's Better Buildings Challenge, a corner- stone of President Obama's Climate Action Plan, is partnering with more than 200 organizations to shape aggres- sive goals to reduce energy intensity by at least 20 percent within 10 years. Utility programs Utility companies' commercial rebate programs of er fi nancial incentives for its customers to invest in energy-ef cient technologies. Standard rebates are avail- able for lighting, HVAC technologies, motors, motor drives and other specifi c applications. Custom rebates may also be obtainable for other projects that will save energy, but don't fall into any easily identifi able category. Institutions, such as healthcare campuses, are eligible for rebates for virtually any project that can be demonstrated to consistently save energy. A unique incentive program to Pacifi c Gas and Electric healthcare custom- ers is the Healthcare Energy Ef ciency Program, administered through Willdan Energy Solutions. HEEP is an incen- tive program created to assist hospitals and other healthcare providers install energy-ef cient equipment to reduce energy consumption and, thereby, lower operating costs. There is a wide range of energy-ef ciency measures that qualify for HEEP incentives, including those associated with lighting, HVAC, variable speed drives, motors, chillers, kitchen hoods, occupancy sensors and energy- management systems, just to name a few. Countless incentive and rebate programs ar e available to healthcare organizations to help in the investment of energy-ef cient equipment. The programs help lessen the load of energy consumption and costs. Cheryl Higgins is product marketing man- ager with LEESON Electric and may be reached at cheryl.higgins@leeson.com. Green news & practices RTKL Adopts Lean Healthcare Development Program Twelve experts from across RTKL's Healthcare team have received the Lean Green Belt for Healthcare certifi cation by the Institute of Industrial Engi- neers. A three-day training and simulation course for process improvement, IIE's Lean Green Belt for Healthcare program applies Lean concepts to elimi- nate waste and focus on the delivery of products and ser- vices to bring value to patients and healthcare organizations. In efforts to drive sustain- ability and higher performance through its Operational Excellence service offering, RTKL will continue to invest in training and development. The fi rm plans to roll out multiple installments of IIE's Lean Green Belt for Health- care program globally. 58 Medical Construction & Design | J U LY/AUGUST 2015 | MCDM AG.COM

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