Chiller Controls-related Energy Saving Opportunities in FederalFacilities

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Chillers are a significant component of large facility energy use. The focus of much of the development of chilled water systems in recent years has been on optimization of set point and staging controls, improvements in chiller design to increase efficiency and accommodate chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) refrigerant replacements. Other improvements have been made by upgrading controls to the latest digital technologies, improving access and monitoring via communications and sophisticated liquid crystal displays (LCD), more robust fault diagnostics and operating and maintenance information logging. Advances have also been made in how chiller plant systems are designed and operated, and in the diversity ... continued below

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Webster, Tom January 1, 2003.

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Description

Chillers are a significant component of large facility energy use. The focus of much of the development of chilled water systems in recent years has been on optimization of set point and staging controls, improvements in chiller design to increase efficiency and accommodate chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) refrigerant replacements. Other improvements have been made by upgrading controls to the latest digital technologies, improving access and monitoring via communications and sophisticated liquid crystal displays (LCD), more robust fault diagnostics and operating and maintenance information logging. Advances have also been made in how chiller plant systems are designed and operated, and in the diversity of chiller products that are available to support innovative approaches. As in many industries, these improvements have been facilitated by advances in, and lower costs for, enabling technologies, such as refrigerants, compressor design, electronics for controls and variable frequency drives (VFD). Along with the improvements in electronics one would expect that advances have also been made in the functionality of unit controls included with chillers. Originally, the primary purpose of this project was to investigate the state of practice of chiller unit controllers in terms of their energy saving capabilities. However, early in the study it was discovered that advances in this area did not include incorporation of significantly different capabilities than had existed 10-15 years ago. Thus the scope has been modified to provide an overview of some of the basic controls-related energy saving strategies that are currently available along with guideline estimates of their potential and applicability. We have minimized consideration of strategies that could be primarily implemented via design practices such as chiller selection and plant design, and those that can only be implemented by a building management system (BMS). Also, since most of the floor space of federal buildings occurs in large buildings, we have focused on water-cooled screw and centrifugal chillers of 100 ton capacity and greater. However, the role of reciprocating and gas chillers (absorption and engine driven) is discussed briefly. Understanding the demographics of chiller deployment in the federal sector, state of practice of energy savings strategies and control features availability will help federal energy managers and program implementers to make informed decisions in support of energy saving performance contracting (ESPC) and other programs.

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  • Report No.: LBNL--47649
  • Grant Number: DE-AC02-05CH11231
  • DOI: 10.2172/860769 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 860769
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc778857

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Office of Scientific & Technical Information Technical Reports

Reports, articles and other documents harvested from the Office of Scientific and Technical Information.

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  • January 1, 2003

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Dec. 3, 2015, 9:30 a.m.

Description Last Updated

  • April 1, 2016, 7:18 p.m.

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Webster, Tom. Chiller Controls-related Energy Saving Opportunities in FederalFacilities, report, January 1, 2003; Berkeley, California. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc778857/: accessed October 22, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.