ClimaStat Technology Improves HVAC Efficiency

2013 Dec – RTU panel

As the manager of 300,000 buildings on hundreds of military installations with an annual facility energy cost of more than $4 billion, DoD is actively seeking ways to reduce its energy costs through its Installation Energy Test Bed initiative. A recent ESTCP-funded study demonstrated a low-cost innovative technology that could provide significant cost savings by improving energy efficiency in roof- or ground-mounted heating and air conditioning systems used for small buildings of less than 100,000 square feet. Tens of thousands of these buildings exist on military installations throughout the United States.

In the ESTCP demonstration, Dr. Michael West and Dr. Richard Combes of Advantek Consulting installed the new ClimaStat technology in HVAC systems at two installations. ClimaStat is a refrigeration-science technology consisting of small devices with multiple sensors that helps regulate the pressure changes across an HVAC system. ClimaStat can be field-retrofitted into existing HVAC equipment or installed in new equipment. At Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort, South Carolina, the study demonstrated 29 percent efficiency improvements on the retrofit of an existing system. At Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Patrick Air Force Base, Florida, the study demonstrated 17 percent savings on a brand new system. The payback periods for these two scenarios are 4 years and 3 years, respectively.

The ESTCP investment provided the Advantek team with a unique opportunity to take an idea they had demonstrated as a laboratory prototype and install it into a real-world commercial system. The team used more than 90 sensors in the demonstrations, providing a rigorous test of the technology’s ability to improve energy efficiency. Both of the military installations that participated in the demonstration have plans to install additional ClimaStat devices. The demonstrations showed that there is great potential to use the technology to condition buildings on other DoD installations, as well as commercial buildings in the private sector.

For this significant work, Dr. West and Dr. Combes received a 2013 ESTCP Project-of-the-Year Award. Project Summary

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