Snowmelt system controls adjusted to save energy
At this large office campus, the sidewalk snowmelt system had never been reviewed or commissioned.
During a recent retro-commissioning investigation for a large office complex, exp U.S. Services learned that the boiler-heated glycol system used for snow melting ran continually whenever the outdoor air temperature was below 38 F. NOAA weather records revealed that while the temperature is below 38 F for about 2250 hours/year, the actual amount of time of snowfall is only 580 hours/year. This difference of about 1700 hours represents the time the snowmelt system is on when it doesn’t need to be.
Because large areas were covered by eight different snowmelt systems, the calculated annual savings was 43,000 therms of natural gas and $21,000. This system was installed many years before the popularity of commissioning, but this speaks to the need for retro-commissioning, and/or at least a periodic review of control sequences and operations.
Terrence Malloy is project manager for the energy solutions group at exp US Services Inc. He focuses on energy conservation, retro-commissioning, and renewable energy systems.
See more information on commissioning testing and standards below.
- Events & Awards
- Magazine Archives
- Oil & Gas Engineering
- Salary Survey
- Digital Reports
- Survey Prize Winners
Annual Salary Survey
Before the calendar turned, 2016 already had the makings of a pivotal year for manufacturing, and for the world.
There were the big events for the year, including the United States as Partner Country at Hannover Messe in April and the 2016 International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago in September. There's also the matter of the U.S. presidential elections in November, which promise to shape policy in manufacturing for years to come.
But the year started with global economic turmoil, as a slowdown in Chinese manufacturing triggered a worldwide stock hiccup that sent values plummeting. The continued plunge in world oil prices has resulted in a slowdown in exploration and, by extension, the manufacture of exploration equipment.
Read more: 2015 Salary Survey