A long-time customer was concerned about increasing power costs, as one of their manufacturing plants in Massachusetts was facing rising utility “demand charges” for peak power usage. The scenario presented a perfect opportunity for our engineering team to go beyond traditional Combined Heat & Power (CHP) and dramatically reduce peak electricity and demand charges.
Most of our mechanical design and build work involves retrofitting existing facilities with customized systems that require nuanced energy and data management. As you would expect, sophisticated digital controls are an essential facet of every project. Unfortunately, the cost and ease with which controls can be added to an existing mechanical framework varies greatly—from being “a piece of cake” to you may as well “fuhgeddaboudit.”
Happens all the time. We walk into a facility for an initial visit and see a proliferation of pumps—here, there, everywhere. Nothing drives us crazier, because the overuse of pumps is inefficient and expensive, and with a little forethought and creative thinking, completely unnecessary.
Here’s how to avoid creating a pump nightmare in your facility
Single Accountability is the crucial factor in the smooth sailing of a design/build engineering project.
It seems out of fashion to take responsibility for one’s actions these days. The lack of accountability in today’s society has become an epidemic…
We offer a refreshing contrast by proactively taking comprehensive responsibility for all facets of design-build projects, from start to finish. As many customers have discovered, using multiple firms for different functions is often a recipe for disaster.
In high school, one of my science teachers had a penchant for trying to inspire students with clever quotations. One of his favorite proclamations was that “many a beautiful theory is ruined by one ugly fact.” The actual quotation by the famous biologist Thomas Huxley gets to a crucial point that most engineers miss. Applying the following scientific process immeasurably improves the creativity and results of engineered systems.
Collecting Data Before and After a Project Will Validate Your Process and Provide Utility Companies with Modeling for Rebate Incentives. Accurate pre-metering provides a baseline model of the efficiency of existing systems and helps to project potential efficiency gains resulting from future improvements.
Using steam to create heat is the equivalent of using an incandescent bulb to create light. So why do engineers continue to use steam? The most common response is: “because we’ve always done it that way.” This blog briefly explains the shocking inefficiency of steam plants, and why hot water should always be utilized when possible.
The most familiar concept of co-generation is using a generator to make electricity and using the waste heat for other thermal usages. This form of cogeneration is more accurately described as Combined Heat and Power - CHP. However, by definition, this is only one form of cogeneration.
It's an historic time for New England manufacturers to take advantage of huge gas incentive increases from utility companies.
Recent regulatory changes, especially in Massachusetts, have made increased amounts of rebate and grant money available through the utility companies for natural gas energy conservation. These windfalls for industrial customers have been truly remarkable. In one recent measure, upwards of $1 million was awarded to help defray costs of a large project, with a complete ROI payback in less than one year.
Questions pour in every summer from customers who are frustrated with humidity levels in controlled environments. Two questions are commonly raised. Why is humidity so difficult to control? What can be done about it?
Being located in the cold climate of New England, we often witness manufacturers who run expensive chillers in an attempt to cool fluids to 50°—when its 30° outside! It’s analogous to using an air conditioner on a cool day instead of opening a window. Even in an industrial application, it's more efficient and effective to let Mother Nature do the cooling for you.
In this challenging business environment, individuals and companies from a range of professions have begun offering Free Energy Audits as an enticement to attract customers. If you want an energy audit and are finding the “free” offer attractive, be careful which entity you choose. The expertise of firms ranges from incompetent to extraordinary and you need to work with the “extraordinary” end of the scale. Incompetent “free” energy audits come at a high cost of lost time and potentially lost dollars should you attempt to implement faulty or incomplete recommendations.
Cooling systems for industrial plant machinery like hydraulics, compressors, and chillers produce exiting cooling system water of 90-100 degrees. This low-grade heated "waste" water exits with high BTU potential that rarely is utilized for ambient "comfort" heat -- until now.
In recent work, we've had success efficiently extracting heat from cooling system waste water with water source heat pumps, with eye-opening results. On average, an industrial facility can save 75% on heating costs by using a heat pump system in comparison to burning heating fuel.
No matter how you slice it, the potential energy savings of an industrial oil-to-propane conversion are exceptional. If we assume oil to be priced at roughly $3.50 per gallon, and propane at roughly $2.00 per gallon, propane offers approximately 45% more heat per dollar!