Efficient Building Controls

energy-efficient-bcBuilding controls systems are one way to save money and energy on your building. If your system is not set up correctly you could lose energy and money. There are many reasons you system may not function optimally and we will discuss a few of them here.

Staff
It is important to make sure that staff does not manually override any of the settingsand that they are trained in reading any errors within the system so that they can react properly.

Monitoring & Evaluation
Another very important part of building controls is evaluation. Once a system is set-up it should be monitored to determine if the building is operating as efficiently as expected. Building controls systems are not a set it and forget it system. You may have expectations that a building will need a certain amount of heating or cooling, but it may actually need more or less.

Maintenance
The building controls system, as well as the equipment connected to it, need proper maintenance. Like all things mechanical,building controls systems require maintenance so that they perform at top efficiency. Maintenance includes calibrating sensors, checking valve actuators, damper actuators and backup information. It is important to make sure all equipment and systems are updated and have the proper service and maintenance.

Improper Set-up
All equipment should be connected to the building controls system. If not, improperly functioning equipment may go unnoticed. This could lead to a decrease in the equipment’s efficiency or a breakdown of the equipment. The building controls system helps to identify smaller issues occurring in the equipment thereby decreasing larger ones. Having more items visible to the building controls system, such as lighting and HVAC has many benefits. Lighting levels within a building can make a very large impact on the energy use and the air conditioning load.

Need Updated Equipment
We often install Facility Explorer supervisory controllers that provide integrated control, supervision and network management services to one or more local networks of field controllers. These controllers also provide system-wide coordination to automate building control operations. All Facility Explorer supervisory controllers provide modular and scalable supervision and control for your building automation system. You choose only those hardware and software features that are applicable to your project requirements. One feature includes the ability to visually see how systems are functioning.

Make sure you are getting the most out of your building management system by using it to its fullest capabilities. The small investment in training, monitoring and maintenance will provide a true cost savings to your company.

What is a Green Building?

green-build

How do we provide green building?

Reduce energy consumption by:

  • High Efficiency Lighting
  • Energy Management Systems
  • High Efficiency HVAC
  • Envelope Improvements

Cut carbon emissions by:

  • Reducing Energy
  • Sustainable & Renewable Energy
  • Sustainable Construction

Create healthy and comfortable workspaces with:

  • Natural Lighting
  • Proper Ventilation
  • Low VOC’s (Volatile Organic Compounds)
  • Proper HVAC Control
  • Green Cleaning Products

Help make a sustainable environment with:

  • Recycled Construction Materials
  • On Site Power Generation
  • Waste Reduction
  • Water Efficiency
  • Operation and Maintenance Optimization

 

Level 1 Energy Audit

Energy Efficiency Rating ChartWe perform energy audits for most of our customers. It gives us information about energy usage,  savings, and the potential for rebates and incentives. Our audits begin with a Level 1 Energy Audit/Pre-Audit. The pre-audit Identifies the potential for improvement and conceptual approaches for closing the gap from a low performing building to a high performance building.

Step 1: Survey and evaluates the energy usage in a building through:

  • Talking to occupants and building managers
  • Collect drawings and building information
  • Collect All Utility Bills – Minimum of one year
  • Equipment
    • HVAC, Controls, Data Loggers and Flow/BTU Meters
  • Usage/hours of operation and Occupancy

Step 2: Preliminary Analysis

  • Review large energy uses
  • Compare to standard database the dollar per square foot energy use
  • Comparison to other Like facilities
  • Benchmarking (Energy star and ASHRAE)
  • Analyze heating and cooling practices and identify inefficiencies
  • Identify possible cost saving measures and energy saving opportunities

Sep 3: Initial Planning and Ideas for a Capital Improvement

  • Identify opportunities with best ROI
  • Plan equipment replacement with High Efficiency options
  • Demand limiting EMS system that also tacks and monitors energy such as lighting, process or HVAC loads.
  • Identify large and fast payback opportunities (1-5 yrs)
  • Identify longer term payback opportunities
  • Identify possible rebate and incentive opportunities

Step 4: Discuss Common Potential Upgrades:

  • Energy Management Systems
  • Cogeneration System
  • Gas fired chiller for HVAC and ice making equipment.
  • Separate Suite HVAC from main chiller plant.
  • Economizers for central heating plant
  • Use cogeneration or separate generation system to handle peak demands
  • Improve heat recover opportunities
  • Maximize the use of the desiccant dehumidifiers.

Review:

  • What makes sense
  • Agree on direction or plan
  • Move on to more detailed analysis
  • Computer Energy Modeling of Building
  • Level II Energy Audit
  • Prioritize solutions and energy saving measures

Long Wharf Theatre Project Wins Award for “Excellence In Construction”

photoThe Long Wharf Theater Main Stage project has been recognized for an “Excellence In Construction Award” by Associated Builders and Contractors, Inc.
The Long Wharf Theater received over $24,000 in utility incentives from CL&P for being more efficient than required by code. Controlled Air, Inc. provided them with economical solution through custom design build, saving them well over $1mil from their original budget. Seven roof top units were installed: Three AAON single VAV variable speed units and four efficient Johnson Controls units. The RTU’s were connected to a CO2 detection system that allows them to limit the outside air intake to only what is necessary, saving money and energy. Noise was also a concern for our customer and as such, we worked directly with acoustical engineers to ensure that the air distribution system and equipment ran with the lowest level of noise possible.
Controlled Air, Inc. will be part of the team presented with the “Excellence In Construction Award” at a ceremony held on January 30, 2014.

Rebates & Incentives

Don’t forget that there are multiple rebates and incentives available to help pay for energy efficient upgrades.

  • CPACE – Low Interest loans paid back through the property tax bill. We have many customers who are finding this a great way to help finance upgrades!
  • CHP – The Clean Energy Finance and Investment Authority (CEFIA) seeks proposals for grants, loans, loan enhancements or power purchase incentives to help finance the cost of combined heat and power equipment for energy-generating projects.
  • LREC/ZREC – This LREC/ZREC program is a bidding process for projects to compete to obtain a 15-year revenue stream from the sale of RECs (Renewable Generation Credit) to the electric utilities.

2013 Certificate of Avoided GHG Emissions

Download (PDF, 87KB)

We received a very exciting letter and certificate from EPA’s CHP Partnership

Vincent Chiocchio
Controlled Air, Inc.
21 A Thompson Rd
Branford, CT 06405
Dear Vincent,

On behalf of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Combined Heat and Power Partnership, I am pleased to provide you with your organization’s 2013 Certificate of Avoided GHG Emissions. The certificate documents the estimated carbon dioxide emissions avoided in 2013 by the CHP projects for which you provided data, expressed in metric tons and the equivalent emissions from electricity use by U.S. homes. This estimate is calculated by comparing the emissions from each CHP system to the total emissions from conventional separate heat and power (i.e., grid electricity and on-site thermal generation).

The certificate also includes the cumulative carbon emissions avoided by the CHP projects you have reported. The certificate can be a valuable resource for communicating the environmental benefits of CHP to your customers, your stakeholders, and the public.

If you have any questions regarding the 2013 Certificate of Avoided GHG Emissions or any of our tools and resources available at www.epa.gov/chp, please do not hesitate to contact the CHP Partnership at (703) 373-8108.

Congratulations on your achievement in reducing carbon pollution in the United States.
Sincerely,

Susan Wickwire
Chief, Energy Supply and Industry Branch
Climate Protection Partnerships Division

New Deadly Trend Among Teens

99_9_R22_RefrigerantThere is a new trend among teens with deadly consequence, freon huffing. Huffing is the inhalation of chemicals, paint or gasoline through the nose or mouth. It is also referred to as sniffing, dusting or bagging. Freon huffing rapidly destroys brain cells and can lead to heart-failure, brain damage or death. It gives teens the feeling of being intensely drunk but quickly dissipates making detection difficult. Some teens even place a plastic bag over their head with the freon inside which can lead to suffocation.

Here are some statistics about huffing:

  • The National Institute on Drug Abuse reports that one in five American teens have used Inhalants to get high.
  • According to Stephen J. Pasierb, President and CEO of The Partnership for Drug-Free America, 22% of 6th and 8th graders admitted abusing inhalants and only 3% of parents think their child has ever abused inhalants.
  • An analysis of 144 Texas death certificates by the Texas Commission on Alcohol and Drug Abuse involving misuse of inhalants found that the most frequently mentioned inhalant (35%) was Freon (51 deaths).  Of the Freon deaths, 42 percent were students or youth with a mean age of 16.4 years.
  • National Institute on Drug Abuse’s ‘Monitoring the Future’ study reveals that inhalant abuse among 8th graders is up 7.7% since 2002.
  • 55% of deaths linked to inhalant abuse are caused by “Sudden Sniffing Death Syndrome.”  SSDS can occur on the first use or any use.  The Inhalant causes the heart to beat rapidly and erratically, resulting in cardiac arrest.
  • 22% of inhalant abusers who died of SSDS had no history of previous inhalant abuse. In other words, they were first-time user.
  • “Huffing,” or inhaling volatile substances is becoming increasingly popular among children, especially among 12- to 14-year-olds (Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine, 1998;152(8):781–786).

To be proactive make sure to secure refrigerant, installing locking caps on an A/C unit is one possibility. There is a provision for securing refrigerant access ports on new construction  codified by the International Code Council (ICC) in the 2009 International Mechanical Code (IMC) and the 2009 International Residential Code (IRC) and has been accepted by the International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials (IAPMO) for inclusion in the 2012 Uniform Mechanical Code (UMC), but these codes are not adopted by all jurisdictions.

Please be aware and take precautions about this tragic new trend with teens. It is important for us all to educate preteens and teens about the dangers of huffing. For more information visit UPROARORG.ORG or INHALANT ABUSE PREVENTION

CEFIA Releases RFP for Cogeneration (CHP) Pilot Program

Cogen_Panel_Closed-editedCEFIA is charged with administering a three-year $6 million dollar pilot program. The total funding remaining in the program for all selected projects under this competitive solicitation is $5 million dollars. This program will offer support for projects that are below five megawatts.

However, funding will not exceed the equivalent of $450 per kilowatt of nameplate rated capacity. Financial support is intended to help you achieve a fair and reasonable payback and return on investment during the life of the project compared to purchasing the equivalent amount of power, fuel oil and/or gas from your utility. If you are interesting in installing cogeneration, this funding will offer incentives that will help pay for the installation.

The Children’s Community School

Controlled Air, Inc. partnered with Alexion Pharmaceuticals, through their community outreach program, to install a security system at the Children’s Community School in Waterbury. The school was concerned with safety of their students, they had an on-going struggle with security issues happening both during and after school hours.

We installed a Johnson Controls card access system in conjunction with 16 cameras, DVR, and internet and phone access.

The system has already helped to apprehend individuals speeding through the school parking lot during school hours narrowly missing students. It has also helped to identify those involved in disagreements amongst groups of students.

During the installation process a kindergartner noticed our service technician, Rich Messner, up on the roof working. The student asked his teacher if Rich was Bob the Builder.  The teacher replied, “Maybe you should ask.”  The student waited patiently until Rich came down from the roof then shyly approached him and asked, “Are you Bob the Builder?”  Rich replied, “Yes, I am.” The student was very excited to have met one of his idols in person.

More than 20% of the project cost was donated by us at Controlled Air, Inc.