Hydronic systems providing hot and chilled water to air handling units (AHUs) suffer thermal inefficiencies due to overflow of water through the respective coils. The objective of this project is to demonstrate a technology that controls the flow of the media through the coils, using only sufficient water to achieve the discharge air temperatures required for dehumidification and temperature control, and reduces the energy consumed to condition affected spaces. This improvement in system efficiency will reduce the cost of providing tempered air and dehumidification to office spaces, medical facilities, computer spaces, laboratories, and most any space currently in the Department of Defense’s (DoD’s) inventory. The demonstration will be conducted at U.S. Army Garrison Natick, Massachusetts.
The technology uses pressure independent valves coupled with an integral flow meter and calibrated Resistance Temperature detectors (RTDs) that provide both supply and return temperatures to the actuator. Embedded intelligence enables the technology to control flow of the media through the coil at the command of the Building Automation System (BAS)/mechanical equipment’s control system to ensure only the necessary water to achieve control of the controlled space’s load. The demonstration will enable DoD to verify current operating conditions by appliance to develop baselines for comparison. Engaging the pressure independent control as well as change in temperature (ΔT) control algorithms will enable the technology to ensure efficient operation by maintaining set ΔT performance.
Expected benefits to both the site and DoD if this technology is adopted include:
- Significant reduction in operational cost due to lower pump energy consumed as well as fewer hours that central equipment (chillers and boilers) is on line.
- Reduction in BTUs consumed to maintain proper temperature and humidity levels within facility/building.
- Reduced stress on equipment resulting in fewer outages due to mechanical failures.
- Increased operational life of central equipment due to reduced operational hours.
- Increased time intervals for equipment purchase to replace worn out systems.
Currently deployed control systems do not optimize the efficiency of connected equipment due to their low cost implementation of minimal control hardware and software to achieve space temperature and humidity control. (Anticipated Project Completion - 2016)