Alexa Stone and David Dunn presented a seminar at the AEE Sunshine Chapters
AEE and Professional Development
March 1, 2019
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Building Automation Systems and PowerGUARD®

At our last AEE Sunshine Chapter meeting we had a great presentation on chiller improvements and Building Automation Systems (BAS). I’ll get to the chiller improvements in a minute, but the part about BAS is particularly intriguing. There are numerous manufacturers of BAS, and each manufacturer offers various levels of their systems from the “bicycle” to the “Cadillac”.

A well-implemented design we were told could reduce consumption from 10–25%. The ROIs weren’t mentioned as the topic was more about smart buildings, but typically a BAS provides from a 2–5 year ROI-depending of course, on the cost of power. Mention was made of a tech company that was using artificial intelligence (AI) to further optimize the operations of the HVAC system. They compared several BAS from different manufacturers. Even after the manufacturers had “optimized” their system the AI was able to reduce energy consumption by an additional 10–20%. That means with BAS and AI combined there is a potential to reduce energy consumption by an astounding 35%. That is simply using the same equipment in a more strategic way.

Now when you add in energy efficient chillers, air handlers, lights, other energy efficient equipment and process changes (in the case of manufacturing) you can incrementally reduce the energy profile by potentially 50% or more. So you would think with all of those improvements it would be hard to wring any additional energy savings from a facility. Of course, there are building envelope design and maintenance considerations that could reduce HVAC needs. But staying in the electrical realm there is still a simple additional measure that can be done for another 5–7% savings on the overall electrical consumption.

Of course, I am talking about the PowerGUARD®. The PowerGUARD® system can be sized around the residual load, and help to further reduce kW demand and kWh consumption. Many of the BAS components such as Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF), Variable Frequency Drives (VFDs) and even LED lighting produce harmonics. These harmonics not only represent wasted energy, they can create a resonant frequency that trips equipment off-line.

The PowerGUARD® helps to mitigate harmonics and filters transients (including lightning) — both of which help to extend equipment life and reduce downtime. Talk about a reduced energy footprint! So call us today to see how you can go beyond BAS. PowerGUARD® — protection that pays!

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