BAS Schedule Control: Simple but Best

allan-brain-on-building.jpg

Almost all buildings, in particular hospitals, have a Building Automation System (BAS). It’s is like the brain of a building. BAS controls most HVAC devices, such as pumps, fans, boilers and chillers. It is an interconnected, centralized system of both hardware and software, like a central nervous system. BAS provides lots of benefits, including the ability to control your building from anywhere and improved energy management. It automates all your heating, cooling and air flow needs with minimum interference.

BAS

Quite a lot operators, supervisors and facility managers leave the fans and pumps running continuously. This might seem like a good idea  … the system works all the time and users would not complain any more. But this is not a good practice as the constant use will wear out motors, belts and pumps before their time. Maintenance cost will rise and the utility bill will rise even higher.

Like people, building systems need a break. The best way is to check how people use a building, and see if we can schedule control changes for the area. If an area is only used some of the time, say during business hours, we know we can power down HVAC units after hours.

We have to make sure the unit could be turned on when needed. For example, if the air handling unit is set to unoccupied mode, it does not supply any conditioned air to the space, but it will restart when the space temperature drops below the unoccupied heating setpoint or unoccupied cooling setpoint. Only when there is a good backup plan can users feel comfortable and support these energy-saving scheduling initiatives.

With schedule control, devices will run for less time. Usually we can turn it off over the weekend. Even if we need to run the unit 12 hours a day, from 7am to 7pm, we could still save 65% on the electricity of the motor. The savings grow when we factor in gas for heating or electricity for cooling.

Below is a simple trend chart for a unit.

As the unit was running continuously before, the electricity consumption was 170,792KWh annually.

E-SF1before

After we implemented a weekday schedule, the power consumption dropped to 60,830 KWh. The users did not feel any difference.

e-sf1after

Schedule control on an HVAC device is a straightforward and most efficient way to save energy. It could also extend lifetime of the equipment itself. That’s saving 2 ways … a real no-brainer.

 

 

District Cooling Retrofit at Toronto General Hospital – Saving Money While Improving Infrastructure

District Cooling Retrofit at Toronto General Hospital – Saving Money While Improving Infrastructure

Toronto General Hospital is undergoing a major retrofit of its central chilled water plant, one that will fundamentally improve the system’s capabilities and dramatically reduce electricity costs.  The plant is essential to services at the hospital, providing chilled water to equipment and ventilation.  It cools operating rooms, equipment for MRI and CT scans, servers, rooms with -80ºC freezers, the cyclotron, as well as all the clinics, patient rooms, and offices throughout TGH’s two million square feet.  The new system will save the Continue reading

Say Hi to Allan, our new Building Control Specialist

allan-wu Continue reading

Data Analysis For Facility Planning – TGH Chillers

Data is critical to facility planning.  With data organizations can plan for the long term, they can make decisions based on facts, and they can weigh options against one another.  I would say there are three criteria for useful data: availability, reliability, and clarity.  All three are necessary; if you have data but can’t access it then it’s not useful; if you have unreliable data then it’s not useful; and if you have reliable data but it’s a convoluted mess then it will be very difficult to discern anything meaningful (i.e. not useful). Continue reading

Groundhogs, carpools, selfies and sweaters … must be February

Even though Wiarton Willie wriggled out of his groundhog burrow and predicted 6 more weeks of winter, to walk around balmy Toronto, it’s hard to tell if winter even started yet.  Tomorrow, Feb 3, calls for a near-tropical 11 degrees Celsius. Expect to see Canadians in shorts.

Fittingly, it’ll cool down to around zero on Thursday, February 4th for National Sweater Day. The 4th is a big day as it’s also World Cancer Day. So though we’d like you to wear a sweater for climate-change battling reasons, you can take a no-hair selfie with our friends at Princess Margaret and show your solidarity with cancer patients. Since there’s a virtual-shave option, you won’t even catch a chill.
NoHairSelfie

There is a link between cancer and air pollution, which brings us back to the Continue reading

How are you keeping cool?

A couple hundred years ago, we didn’t have artificial refrigeration.  In fact, in the early 1800s the Ice Revolution was just beginning, which saw thousands of tons of ice manually cut from lakes and rivers for transport to wanting cities.  Can you imagine that today?  People and horses cutting the ice from our lakes?  An ice-cold drink on a summer’s day involved a lot more work.  Today, we are fortunate enough to have refrigeration not just keeping our drinks cool, and meat fresh, but our offices and homes cool and comfortable.

Ice Ploughs - Grenadier Pond

Ice cutting ploughs on Grenadier Pond, 1909. City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 1244, Item 140.

It’s not easy keeping us cool inside during the summer.  It’s 30 degrees outside, and you want it Continue reading

Much Ado About Normal (Temperatures) – Talkin’ Trash, May 2013

By now many of you have likely seen a note or two about “Operation TLC”, UHN’s ambitious and way cool initiative to cut over $2 million from its utility budget. To learn more about this awesome endeavour, Talkin’ Trash’s Second Managing Editor sat down with UHN’s Manager of Energy & Environment to talk energy, fashion and a little TLC.

Second Managing Editor (ME2): Welcome to On The Heap, Talkin’ Trash’s trash-side chat.

Manager of Energy & Environment (MEE): It’s a pleasure to be here.

ME2: So, Operation TLC is UHN’s latest energy efficiency initiative and is being led by the Senior Vice President for each of our locations – what does “TLC” stand for? Continue reading