Operations Center: Clients, their interactions, and results
Stories from our clients
The following stories exemplify how customers interact with — and benefit from — our unique Operations Center.
Understanding what works best for your unique system
A hospital customer kept its chiller temperature at the typical 7 degrees above the outside air wet bulb temperature, yet the machine was consuming more electricity than expected.
- The analysis from the Operations Center team showed that the site’s cooling towers fans were smaller than average for a facility of that size. The team then went to work to determine the actual breakpoint for the hospital’s system and show the hospital staff the savings they could achieve for every degree drop in the chiller’s setpoint.
- They also analyzed temperature vs. load to give the hospital specific recommendations for when to reset the setpoint so the hospital operations staff knows how to respond the next time conditions fluctuate.
Identifying energy outliers
A facilities manager for a commercial building in New York City reviewed his current metrics and discovered he will be looking at a $300,000 fine for emissions if his total utility consumption doesn’t change.
- To nail down the problem, the manager used utiliVisor’s mobile app to review spikes in usage and determine trends in tenant behavior.
- Once high users were identified, the manager worked to help them understand and reduce their energy usage, which created savings for everyone.
A major university was cycling its chiller machines based on hours of operation, but found that was quite expensive.
- Using utiliVisor’s analytical tools, the Operations Center team was able to show that the larger chiller had too much muscle at lower loads. A large machine needs a certain minimum flow to run well. This bigger machine was bypassing an enormous amount of water in the plant, which was creating a false load on the chiller.
- By switching to the university’s smaller chiller, the utility engineers were able to reduce the PDU (power distribution unit) content of the plant.
Identifying out-of-spec operations
The efficiency of the condenser heat exchanger at a major New York business and tourist destination was considerably out-of-bounds.
- Usually the difference between the water leaving the condenser and the refrigerant inside the condenser is about one degree Fahrenheit, but the Operations Center saw temperatures differing by 6 – 10 degrees.
- The lead engineer contacted the client, who switched away from that piece of equipment and began to investigate. When the client opened up the heat exchanger, he found a large quantity of mussels. Needless to say, mussels growing inside the condenser could be detrimental to the equipment. Eventually, the tube would have burst, which would have leaked refrigerant into the Hudson River and caused a lot of environmental damage.
- By alerting the director of engineering about the problem, the Operations Center team was able to help save a valuable piece of equipment as well as the local environment (not to mention the facility’s water use permit).
Diagnostic Assistance for the Unexpected
A hospital client called to say something was off with his new equipment. The outside temperature had plummeted, which had been expected. What was not expected was that his system was now costing him $300/hour.
The Operations Center team poured through the data and discovered that the hospital's new BMS was sending out incorrect values for the pump speed setpoints. Even a state-of-the-art system has hiccups and needs constant evaluation of its performance to identify when values go out of range.