Military keep cool in Texas

When new air conditioning equipment was needed at the massive Randolph Air Force Base in San Antonio, the federal government turned to HTS Texas.


Summer in South Texas can be sweltering, to say the least. So when new air conditioning equipment was needed at the massive Randolph Air Force Base in San Antonio, the federal government turned to HTS Texas.

With more than 10,000 people living and working on the south-central Texas military base, where temperatures reach average highs above 90 degrees and humidity soars to more than 80 percent each summer, air conditioning is a vital component of employee productivity and, therefore, a company’s bottom line.

Such high-demand air conditioning systems can consume a great deal of energy if not properly designed with state-of-the-art technologies. So base officials recently launched renewed energy conservation efforts to reduce utility payments, which are approximately $500,000 over budget so far this year, due in part to a 7% rate increase by City Public Service (CPS), the San Antonio power company.

Base officials earlier this year tapped HTS Texas to outfit the 200,000-square-foot, U.S. Green Building Council LEED-Silver-certified military facility with more efficient HVAC equipment. That equipment includes a McQuay magnetic bearing chiller, McQuay air handling units, and Enviro-Tec Variable Air Volume (VAV) boxes in a system designed for energy efficiency. Additionally, the Air Force base will stringently follow its base policy of leaving air conditioning settings between 76 and 78 degrees during the summer.

The project received a $67,500 rebate just for installing the magnetic bearing chiller. That significant rebate from CPS was possible because of the power company’s commercial rebates on the replacement of older equipment with new, highly efficient equipment. 

The magnetic bearing technology used in the McQuay frictionless centrifugal chiller provides superior energy efficiency by eliminating the high friction losses of conventional centrifugal compressors, according to McQuay. For example, the chiller requires less than two amps to start, compared to 500 to 600 amps for a traditional screw compressor chiller. And, because magnetic bearings require no lubrication, there is no need for oil heaters, oil coolers, oil pumps, or oil piping.

“We are all about providing the most efficient HVAC equipment available because it makes the most sense for our clients, both from a comfort and financial standpoint,” notes John Winckler, HVAC Systems Consultant with HTS Texas’ San Antonio office. “High energy-efficiency system designs save money in the long run—an investment building owners understand offers greater return.”

Information provided by HTS Texas.

No comments
The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America. View the 2013 Top Plant.
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
The Engineering Leaders Under 40 program identifies and gives recognition to young engineers who...
A cool solution: Collaboration, chemistry leads to foundry coat product development; See the 2015 Product of the Year Finalists
Raising the standard: What's new with NFPA 70E; A global view of manufacturing; Maintenance data; Fit bearings properly
Sister act: Building on their father's legacy, a new generation moves Bales Metal Surface Solutions forward; Meet the 2015 Engineering Leaders Under 40
Cyber security cost-efficient for industrial control systems; Extracting full value from operational data; Managing cyber security risks
Drilling for Big Data: Managing the flow of information; Big data drilldown series: Challenge and opportunity; OT to IT: Creating a circle of improvement; Industry loses best workers, again
Pipeline vulnerabilities? Securing hydrocarbon transit; Predictive analytics hit the mainstream; Dirty pipelines decrease flow, production—pig your line; Ensuring pipeline physical and cyber security
Upgrading secondary control systems; Keeping enclosures conditioned; Diagnostics increase equipment uptime; Mechatronics simplifies machine design
Designing positive-energy buildings; Ensuring power quality; Complying with NFPA 110; Minimizing arc flash hazards
Building high availability into industrial computers; Of key metrics and myth busting; The truth about five common VFD myths

Annual Salary Survey

After almost a decade of uncertainty, the confidence of plant floor managers is soaring. Even with a number of challenges and while implementing new technologies, there is a renewed sense of optimism among plant managers about their business and their future.

The respondents to the 2014 Plant Engineering Salary Survey come from throughout the U.S. and serve a variety of industries, but they are uniform in their optimism about manufacturing. This year’s survey found 79% consider manufacturing a secure career. That’s up from 75% in 2013 and significantly higher than the 63% figure when Plant Engineering first started asking that question a decade ago.

Read more: 2014 Salary Survey: Confidence rises amid the challenges

Maintenance and reliability tips and best practices from the maintenance and reliability coaches at Allied Reliability Group.
The One Voice for Manufacturing blog reports on federal public policy issues impacting the manufacturing sector. One Voice is a joint effort by the National Tooling and Machining...
The Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals an organization devoted...
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
Maintenance is not optional in manufacturing. It’s a profit center, driving productivity and uptime while reducing overall repair costs.
The Lachance on CMMS blog is about current maintenance topics. Blogger Paul Lachance is president and chief technology officer for Smartware Group.