Realities of Chiller Plant Operation: Utility Impacts on Owner Operating Costs and Societal Environmental Issues

March 21, 2000 - 12:00pm
Bldg. 90
Seminar Host/Point of Contact: 

Don Aumann, a Senior Consultant from BKi in Oakland, will present an overview of two projects he completed for the electric utility industry. The first, a case study evaluation of a hybrid chiller plant in Jefferson City, Missouri, demonstrates the importance of carefully evaluating the impact of utility rate structures on plant operating costs. The building owner, another engineering consultant, and the local utility representatives were confused by the rates and missed an opportunity to cut chiller-plant operating costs by about 20%, totaling $15,000 per year.  In the second project, Don will look at another aspect of utility company impacts on chiller plant operation -- the environmental issues of source energy use, air pollution and global warming. Electric utilities apply a wide range of power plants to meet electric demand, including coal-fired steam units, gas-fired turbines, nuclear, hydroelectric, and others. Don developed a simplified analysis technique, first presented at the 1996 ASHRAE Annual Meeting, to quickly estimate source energy use, NOx/SOx emissions, and CO2 production for a specified generation mix and alternative chiller plants. Although building owners typically have little interest in such societal issues, environmentalists and policy makers sometimes address source energy and air emissions when comparing or promoting technologies.

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