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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Page 61 of 70

Green Each year, medical facili- ties in the United States spend $8.8 billion on energy. Between lighting, medical equipment, the facility's HVAC system and water consumption, energy usage in medical facilities outpaces any other type of building. For large hospital systems, annual energy costs can reach into the tens of millions of dollars, no small amount in an industry of thin margins. Hospitals recognize that energy conservation is a priority and also real- ize the benefi ts — both to the bottom line and the environment. One initiative that may be implemented is upgrading to more energy-ef cient cooling tower fan motors, reducing costs and maintenance. The primary function of the cooling tower is to remove heat from the condenser water system transferred from electric chillers. During the air-conditioning cycle, heat is removed via the chilled water loop; that heat is then transferred to the condenser water system and ulti- mately removed by the cooling tower. Ef ciency, sustainability and conserva- tion are all topics that must be considered regardless of the industry. At the core of utility operations are cooling requirements that call for the use of a cooling tower. If allowed to operate in an uncontrolled environment, the water and energy ef- fi ciencies in cooling towers can be costly. Furthermore, an uncontrolled cooling tow- er puts the asset at risk for high repair costs and downtime for production operations. The cooling tower is responsible for re- jecting unwanted heat from the condenser water loop to the air outside of the building. Proper sizing and control of cooling towers is essential to ef cient chiller operation. In spite of the impact on facilities, cooling towers are among the most neglected equipment [in many fa- cilities]. Maintenance and engineering managers might understand a cooling tower's role, but might not fully realize the importance of keeping them op- erating at peak performance levels. Untapped potential One of the areas where overhead can be contained or reduced is in the operation of the chilled water systems that support air conditioning throughout the campus or facility, specifi cally the cooling towers. Mechanical-draft cooling towers consist of one or more mechanically driven fans. These fans usually have multiple blades ranging from 2 to 33 feet in length. An Upgraded cooling tower fan motors reduce energy costs, consumption and maintenance Prescription for Savings HVAC SAVINGS BY CHERYL HIGGINS news & practices MCDM AG.COM | J U LY/AUGUST 2015 | Medical Construction & Design 57

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