Confidential Client | Data Center

Mission critical facilities have both primary and back-up systems for cooling the building. In this case, the facility was utilizing both systems concurrently, but neither was operating at its fullest potential. RTM recognized an opportunity to provide a solution that would increase the operating efficiency of the primary chilled water system while keeping the DX system in back-up mode.

Prior to the start of the project, the team completed theoretical calculations of what the difference in energy would be. The results were presented to the local utility company and the project was accepted in the incentives program.

RTM worked with the owner, contractor and utility company to create a measurement and verification plan to determine the energy savings with three data collection methods:

  • Utility staff installed data loggers to collect information every 15 minutes.
  • Info was gathered from the building automation system every 15 minutes.
  • Manual meter readings were taken daily for two weeks before the project began and two weeks after it was finished to measure the energy levels.

Through careful analysis, RTM determined that the cold air in one area of the computer room was bypassing the computers, mixing with the hot air, and returning to the air handling unit without performing the intended cooling effect. To create a more energy-efficient system, RTM advised the client to install a plastic curtain to channel the air through the computers and prevent the air from mixing.

Implementation of the air curtain system increased overall system efficiency and freed up some of the existing DX units to function as the back-up cooling system, as was originally intended. This resulted in direct energy savings and prevented the installation of additional air handling units to make up for lost efficiency.

In addition to the lifetime of energy savings, the amount awarded in local utility incentives was tens of thousands of dollars per year, about double the anticipated conservative project estimation due to the project’s success.

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