With fears of global warming, expanding carbon footprints, and depleting fuel resources, “energy efficiency” is more than just a few buzzwords. It’s a growing major concern for every nation on the planet.
Many countries are now taking concrete steps to improve energy efficiency and lower dependency on natural resources. The European Union recently implemented their Energy Efficiency Directive. The plan calls for all countries in the union to lower their energy use by 20% by the year 2020. With a constantly growing population using more energy everyday, this is a huge challenge.
Across the pond in the United States, the Energy Policy Acy of 2005 is keeping developers busy, finding way to save energy in new and existing structures. The act includes a series of tax credits and incentives for builders who implement energy saving equipment in their projects.
One available credit under the act is about to expire. Available to building owners or to contractors working on government buildings, the Energy Efficient Commercial Buildings Tax Deduction expires in 2013. Already extended once in 2008, the tax incentive encourages building owners to increase the usage of energy saving equipment.
Filtration Is Key To Saving Energy
Filtration plays a key role in saving energy in HVAC installations. Unwanted solids can enter cooling systems, clogging or fouling heat exchanger equipment. That can lead to excessive energy and water waste, as well as increased maintenance and downtime. These problems negatively affect sustainability and system efficiency, driving energy usage up.
Adding a separator or other filtration system is a great way to save energy. In many cases the installation of a separator will result in measurable energy savings so effective that they often pay for themselves in less than a year. A large department store chain discovered just how great those savings could be when they installed different filtration options in different stores and compared the results. Those results were put in a Case Study, which was analyzed in a recent white paper published and presented at the AHR Exposition last January.
LEARN MORE About Filtration Energy and Cost Savings in FREE White Paper
Noted HVAC Energy Consultant George Oranski has written a white paper entitled "Energy Conservation through Filtration and Hydronic Free Cooling " in which he reviews the findings in this Case Study and outlines the benefits of an effective filtration system. His conclusions:
CLICK HERE to download this FREE, comprehensive white paper, and start thinking now filtration can improve your hydronic cooling system and save energy and money at the same time.
- A total of 15% total electric savings was realized.
- Chemical usage was reduced 15 to 20% and major maintenance savings was recorded.
At the end of each football season, millions of people around the world gather in front of their television sets to watch the biggest sporting event in the United States -- the Super Bowl. This Sunday’s Big Game at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis appears as if it will be no exception to this trend, as media buzz builds excitement until the time for the opening kickoff has arrived. The game will pit conference champions against each other as the New England Patriots face off against the New York Giants. But even before those two teams take the field in the heat of battle, another huge challenge will be faced by a 3rd team -- the team of highly talented professionals responsible for keeping the air and water temperatures comfortable throughout the game -- for the players as well as the estimated Lucas Oil Stadium crowd of 63,000 screaming fans.
Citizens Thermal The Champions Before The Game Begins
The team behind the scenes will use state-of-the-art district energy techniques and equipment to ensure that heating and cooling systems inside the stadium operate without any problems and at maximum efficiency. District management experts Citizens Thermal provide steam heat and chilled water for cooling to more than 250 commercial buildings in the downtown Indianapolis area, including Lucas Oil Stadium -- the home of the Indianapolis Colts and Super Bowl 2012.
Citizens Thermal has relied on LAKOS Filtration Solutions for over a decade to remove unwanted solids from chilled water production. Keeping the chillers clean is essential for maintaining efficiency. Without proper filtration, district energy plants are forced to work harder to maintain proper temperatures, wasting time, energy, and water. LAKOS keeps the chillers running at their highest efficiency, therefore helping to keep both teams and fans at the Super Bowl comfortable, and the stadium equipment running smoothly.
Download the FREE District Energy Case Study and Read More Details
Citizens Thermal are experts at the techniques of cooling tower filtration and district energy management, and opposing teams should study their playbook. Downtown Indiananpolis is a shining example of their expertise, and the Citizens Thermal Case Study describes their success there in some details. Color photographs from the Indianapolis installations are included. Download the FREE District Energy Case Study today, and read how these champions in their field play their game, and make winners of all their customers.
And if you are in the Virgina area next week, stop by the LAKOS demontration (Table 40) at the International District Energy Association’s Annual Campus Energy Conference taking place in Arlington, VA from February 6 - 9.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is charged with protecting the environment, and utilizes public awareness and education as two methods to achieve this goal. The organization has just released a new software tool that provides important information about pollutants that are released into local waterways. It is called the Discharge Monitoring Report (DMR) Pollutant Loading Tool, and it brings together millions of records and allows for easy searching and mapping of water pollution by local area, watershed, company, industry sector, and pollutant. Americans can use this new tool to protect their health and the health of their communities.
Environmental and Energy-Conscious Movements Around The World
The Richborough Cooling Towers have dominated the Kent skyline east of London since the 1950’s. The massive hourglass shaped towers are a regional landmark, piercing the horizon (see photo), and serving as a constant reminder of the area’s rich, industrial traditions. However, in the coming months, the famous towers that once cooled coal and oil burning power stations will be torn down to make room for a “green” energy park.
Traditional methods of cooling need be updated in order to stay competitive as new green technologies continue to grow. In both new constructions and older ones, proper filtration is an excellent way to increase the efficiency of cooling tower systems. Not only does filtration keep cooling towers operating in the “greenest” way possible, they also save energy, water, and money.
Environmental Agency Saves Water and Energy With Filtration On Their Cooling Tower
Perhaps no organizations are more concerned with keeping their operations environmentally friendly than the government agencies which oversee compliance with environmental regulations. One of the largest of these agencies recently faced escalating costs for cooling tower operations at a laboratory in Texas. Inefficiencies due to dirt and particulate accumulation in the cooling tower basin were causing major problems. They wanted a solution that was effective but also friendly to the environment.
They decided to install an automated cooling tower basin cleaning system, and the results have been overwhelmingly positive.
Download the FREE Case Study Today!
Download the full case study with all the details and color photos of this green installation. See how proper filtration can turn your HVAC nightmare into a water, energy, and money saving system.
Energy efficiency, life cycle costing, going green, sustainability, LEED certification, return on investment (ROI), water conservation, etc. Each is an important topic right now for design, specifying, and product engineers.
But proving the actual costs, expenses, and efficiency of building systems can be extremely difficult.
Life cycle cost analysis is a method for assessing the total cost of owning and operating a facility. It takes into account not just the initial cost of acquiring a building or piece of machinery, but the effective savings that will result from that machinery as well. This is critically important for equipment and systems which require a large initial outlay of costs, but which save money (usually through energy savings and other means) over the life of the machinery and the facilty.
High Performance HVAC EquipmentHeating, ventilating, and air-conditioning (HVAC systems) account for 39% of the energy used in commercial buildings in the United States. There are numerous energy analysis software tools which can be used to evaluate current and potential system configurations for most efficient operation, resulting in HVAC energy savings. Water filtration equipment is sometimes overlooked in these programs, but the return on investment of a properly sized and installed cooling tower filtration system is usually extremely good. When all factors and current costs are compared with the reduced costs AFTER a filtration system is installed, the payback period is often less than 1 year.
Continuing Cooling Tower Cleaning Without Any DowntimeCooling towers get dirty, and require periodic maintenance to remove dirt and sludge and other particulates that build up in the basin. This periodic maintenance can be greatly reduced if an effective CONTINUOUS filtration method is used to prevent solids from accumulating in the tower basin, or from fouling the heat exchanger. A very effective method for implementing this continuous filtration is by installing a LAKOS TowerClean system for basin cleaning.
Energy Efficiency and Water Savings Calculator For Cooling Towers Calculates HVAC Energy Savings
Download the LAKOS ROI calculator for cooling tower filtration TODAY. Its an Excel-based program that generate results which can be entered into other more comprehensive energy management software tools. Determine the payback period and ROI for HVAC energy savings and make your facility GREENER at the same time you reduce expenses.
Open loop water systems are those which are open to the environment. As such, they are much more susceptible to new entry of dirty,grit, and other contaminants into the system. On the other hand, a closed loop system is a water system which is closed to the outside environment. Theoretically, once a closed loop system is filtered of its solids, ongoing filtration is not needed. But that assumes that most solids enter the system primarily through a water source, and are not introduced through the process of wear and tear on the piping.
Closed loop systems CAN experience significant contaminant fouling, creating inefficiencies in the system. This is especially true in chilled water HVAC systems. Optimizing operation and control of the system to maximize performance relative to building load can be a successful energy saving alternative. Filtration of the system is a key component to achieving water savings and energy savings goals.
Sustainability In A Healthcare Setting
Facility utility costs can account for up to 5% of a modern hospital’s annual operating budget. For large facilities, this number can be over $4 million per year. At the University of Alberta, Canada healthcare facility, this number is more than $12 million per year. With LEED and sustainability in mind, reducing that expense while supplying needed heating and cooling is critical to a successful energy strategy. Doug Dunn, the Manager of Building Operations, developed such a strategy and it is yielding positive results.
Calculating Energy and Water Savings
One of the main concerns of the system was the accumulation of particulates in the chilled water system. This was degrading the efficiency of the chiller and causing increased failures in condensing units -- some of which served highly sensitive clinical equipment. This resulted in maintenance delays and expenses. At that time an HVAC Energy and Water Savings Calculator was not availalbe to determine the savings, so Dunn made his own calculations and determined a course of action that would eliminate this problem. Preventing the growth of Legionella through effective HVAC filtration was a side benefit. Legionnaires Disease has been found in a number of water-cooled healthcare facilities, and the use of a centrifugal separator in the system has been known to reduce the growth of Legionella.
Download the Free Hospital Sustainability Case Study
Detailed “before” and “after” data has been collected and described by Dunn in the University of Alberta Closed Loop Case Study. See actual expense and savings details, and review the special HVAC requirements for sensitive facilities like hospitals.
As we end 2009 and the first decade of the new millennium, it is a good time to pause and reflect on the PAST and what we should be striving to improve in the YEAR ahead. Everyone seems to have a list containing an idea or two about how we can accomplish this, including energy and water efficiency gained from effective filtration systems to the advantages of drip irrigation and ways to accomplish more effective legionella prevention, etc.
So here is OUR list of the some of the Most Important Lists heading into the New Year. Trends we’d like to see continue and ideas we’d like to see embraced and adopted in 2010 and beyond. Perhaps by the end of 2010 these will help create a GREENER world with a more efficient use of water and energy resources for all of us.
1. Top 5 Reasons Why BLUE (water) Will Become The New Green In 2010
GREEN is the color of sustainability and energy efficiency, but BLUE is the color of water, and many recent reports seem to indicate it will be the most important color in 2010 and beyond.
a. Pacific Institute Report: Industrial Water Use and Potential Savings In Each Industry
b. 100 Ways To Conserve Water
c. Top 5 Ways To Save Water In The Home
d. Read How IBM Reduced Water Demand by 20% At One Location
e. Calculate Your Water Savings When Using Water Sense Products
2. Top 10 Energy-Monitoring Tools for the Home
Until convenient tools arrive for homeowners to monitor their energy use from inside the home, efforts to reduce energy consumption may be just wishful thinking. Perhaps one of the items on this list will help to lead the way.
3. Most Innovative Pumps and Systems Products of the Year
Pumps and Systems Magazine recently awarded their inaugural 2009 Innovation Awards, and the list of winners proves there is still plenty of room for improvement in pump efficiency and energy usage.
4. All 50 USA State Energy Codes for Residential and Commercial Buildings
View current building codes for each state in the USA and learn more about Federal and state codes and trends. All on one page on the Department of Energy website:
What is your list of Great Ideas for 2010? Do you have a list of most valuable tips for anyone in the building/cooling/irrigation/water-related industries?
Here is one of our favorite studies to share: Energy study by the Canadian Office of Energy Efficiency. Download it today!
In our previous blog entry we mentioned the recently released report on water usage as it relates to the Green Building movement. The report provides data about commercial and domestic water use and suggests a 21 Point Action Plan to improve water performance and efficiency. It also points out that as water becomes a scarcer resource in the future, concerns about how best to design and retrofit water systems will become even more important than they are today.
Some additional findings covered in the report:
- In hospitals and healthcare settings, the main use of water is for cooling and heating (31%), followed by domestic use and restrooms (27%)
- In office buildings, those two reverse positions and the main use is domestic use and restrooms (37%) followed by cooling and heating (33%)
- Contractors and building owners are concerned about any additional water use regulations which will increase construction costs. On the other hand, other respondants claim that some effective water use and re-use techniques which are presently forbidden by state and county codes should be reviewed and revised quickly.
- A number of respondants voiced their opinions about the Green Building movement and LEED certification. The opinions varied from those being "oversold" ideas to comments that green building, sustainability, and water efficiency are all coming trends that will make more and more sense economically in the future as the cost of water and energy usage continue to grow.
- Earlier this year the U.S. Green Building Council raised requirements under the LEED program so that it now requires a 20% reduction in water use as a prerequisite while increasing the number of Water Efficiency credits available in its various programs. In addition, LEED-certified projects must submit actual performance data on WATER and energy use for five years AFTER certification.
And finally, of the total amount of water consumed in the U.S., biggest chunk (82%) is used for irrigation.
Despite this fact, little was mentioned in the report about more efficient use of irrigation. Besides noting that drip irrigation is more efficient than other methods, techniques to improve the efficiency of drip irrigation -- such as filtration -- were not mentioned in the report.
Irrigation Filtration Saves Energy and Water
Effective filtration of irrigation water will reduce water usage by ensuring all components of the system operate at highest efficiency. Clogging of drip emitters by sand and other debris will cause uneven flow and require longer pump runs to reach optimum water levels to the soil. Whether accomplished through two stages of filtration (pre-filtration to remove sand and other debris and then finer filtration to remove smaller particles, usually accomplished with a sand media tank filter) or just one, SOME filtration is always better than none. And depending on the efficiency of the sand media tank filter, effective filtration will also minimize wear on system components through fewer backwashing cycles.
If your showerhead is partially clogged, don't you have to run the water a tiny bit longer to get a good shower? The same is true of irrigation drip emitters.
Download our new White Paper on Sand Media Filters and the read about how underdrain design and the use of a pre-filter can have a huge effect on water use and system efficiency.