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The University of Texas at Austin first opened its doors in 1883 with eight professors, 221 students and a goal of creating quality higher education in the state of Texas. Throughout the last 135 plus years, UT Austin has grown to over 3,000 professors, 51,000 students and has garnered an impressive global reputation. Regardless of growth, the university takes pride in its active attention to pursuing sustainable energy solutions. In the interest of reducing the impact the university has on the local grid and environment, the Carl J. Eckhardt Combined Heating and Power Complex was built to provide energy for the campus. Energy Production Efficiency The system uses the same amount of fuel today as in 1976 with double the amount of served space This power plant has achieved an efficiency of more than 85%, meaning very little energy is lost in the form of heat. This is more than twice the efficiency of a typical power plant. With all of the advancements in efficiency, the system uses the same amount of fuel today as in 1976 with double the amount of served space. Because the energy production efficiency is more than 85%, annual savings opportunities are now on the demand side. In 2010, the Energy Management & Optimization (EMO) team at University of Texas at Austin began a 20-year plan to reduce the average energy use intensity (EUI) on the main campus by 20%. The goal was met early in 2018, so a new goal was set for at least 2% annually. This reduction in energy consumption has been taking place even while the university continues to grow. Achieving Higher Levels Of Sustainability Through initiatives, such as replacing halogen lamps with LEDs in the Texas Memorial Museum and behavioral programs encouraging students to turn off lights, UT Austin has been consistently meeting their goal of optimizing energy consumption. This allows UT Austin to reduce operating costs and achieve higher levels of sustainability. With UT Austin’s continuous growth comes an ever-evolving need for facilities With UT Austin’s continuous growth comes an ever-evolving need for facilities. Recently, UT Austin converted an old technology incubator facility with dense equipment cooling loads, known as the West Pickle Research Center, into new office spaces for faculty. Because the offices do not require as much cooling as the lab, the two constant-speed, oil-lubricated, centrifugal chillers that had previously supported the building were no longer appropriate. There was a 650 ton (2,285 kW) chiller that provided too much cooling, and a 200 ton (703 kW) unit that did not provide enough. Highly Efficient And Optimized Solution The chillers were installed in 1983 and ran on R-11, an ozone depleting refrigerant that is now banned for use in new equipment via Montreal Protocol. The chillers were past due for an upgrade and operating them wasted a lot of energy. Johnson Controls offered a highly efficient and optimized solution with a 300 ton (1,055 kW) YORK® YZ Magnetic Bearing Centrifugal Chiller. Installed in 2018, the chiller provided a perfect middle ground between the two previous chillers and was fondly nicknamed the ‘Goldilocks Chiller’ because it was just the right size for the new building load. With the flexible control options that the variable speed drive offers to meet a shifting building load, unnecessary energy consumption was curbed. Additionally, the magnetic bearing technology in the YORK® YZ dramatically increases reliability, decreases downtime and decreases the need for maintenance. Low Tower Water Temperatures The high efficiency of the YZ makes an appreciable difference in energy costs The UT Austin EMO Team appreciates the independence of the YZ chiller, saying, “We never have to worry about changing filters or checking oil levels, which allows us to focus our energy on saving initiatives rather than the upkeep of equipment.” While operating the YZ Chiller, UT Austin realized an estimated 330,000 kWh or $23,000 annual savings. The high efficiency of the YZ makes an appreciable difference in energy costs over the year compared to the old chillers previously in the building. One of the reasons the YZ chiller can save energy throughout the year is its ability to run at exceptionally low tower water temperatures, thanks to its wide operating map. Reducing Energy Consumption “We used to have to hold the entering condenser water temperature at 65°F (18.3°C) to run our chillers during the winter months, but the YZ Chiller is able to take advantage of our entering condenser water temperatures down to 45°F (7.2°C), greatly reducing the energy consumption.” The YZ is designed for real-world efficiency and operates efficiently at off-design conditions Utilizing magnetic bearings eliminates minimum speeds and lubrication systems that previously limited chillers from operating at extra low lift conditions. The YZ is designed for real-world efficiency and operates efficiently at off-design conditions, which is where chillers operate 98% of the time. Even in a warmer climate like Austin, Texas, there are still plenty of hours where the temperature is cool enough to take advantage of lower entering condenser water temperature. Sophisticated Building Technology While the chiller has been operating, exceptional efficiencies as low as 0.15 kW/ton (23 COP) have been observed. An impressive feature of the YORK® YZ Chiller is its ability to easily integrate into any building setting and run efficiently. In this retrofit to an old lab facility, an immediate efficiency improvement of 15% over UT Austin’s other fully optimized plants was noted soon after starting up the YZ Chiller. Juan Ontiveros concludes, “It can support anyone in any system of any age. You don’t need the most sophisticated building technology to run the YZ and realize awesome efficiencies!”
Recently, Russell’s Heating, Cooling, Plumbing & Electric and Virginia Air Distributors partnered with local contractors and Building Homes for Heroes during a Welcome Home ceremony in Virginia Beach, Virginia., for Navy Lieutenant Patrick Ferguson. Ferguson, who joined the military in 1991, sustained multiple injuries throughout his more than two decades of service. His injuries require specific modifications to his home in order to live safely and focus on his recovery. HVAC Installation Services Russell’s Heating, Cooling, Plumbing & Electric donated the HVAC installation services for the veteran’s new home To support Ferguson, Johnson Controls and Virginia Air Distributors donated a YORK® heating and cooling system with a Wi-Fi® capable YORK® touch-screen thermostat to better assist him with adjusting his home’s temperature without the need to get up. Russell’s Heating, Cooling, Plumbing & Electric donated the HVAC installation services for the veteran’s new home. “We are honored to partner with companies like Virginia Air Distributors, and Russell’s Heating, Cooling, Plumbing and Electric to gift a home to Lieutenant Ferguson and his/her family,” said Andy Pujol, founder and CEO of Building Homes for Heroes. Renovating Quality Homes “The customized amenities companies like Johnson Controls are able to bring to these beautiful homes allows veterans to live their lives in greater comfort and dignity. Together, we are providing not only a foundation for Lieutenant Ferguson, but a hopeful path to a bright future with the opportunity to reach dreams he may have never thought imaginable when injured.” The organization strives to build or renovate quality homes and donate them Building Homes for Heroes is a national organization that recognizes those who serve in the United States Armed Forces by supporting the needs of severely wounded or disabled soldiers and their families. The organization strives to build or renovate quality homes and donate them, mortgage-free, to injured veterans nationwide. Hiring Veterans And Military Spouses “There is no greater honor than giving back to the veterans that have sacrificed for our country. We are proud to provide Navy Lieutenant Patrick Ferguson and his family with a comfortable environment in his new home,” said Buddy Smith, president and owner, Russell’s Heating, Cooling, Plumbing & Electric. The YORK brand of Johnson Controls has been a proud sponsor of Building Homes for Heroes since 2014. The company has been recognized by US Veterans Magazine as a top veteran-friendly company. Johnson Controls is also committed to hiring veterans and military spouses. Veteran employees are honored to design, engineer and assemble systems that help improve the lives of fellow veterans.
The YORK brand of Johnson Controls has launched a new series of commercial rooftop units designed to deliver efficient performance, serviceability and flexibility, all in a cost-effective package. YORK Sun Select 27.5–50 ton rooftop units exceed aggressive Department of Energy (DOE) energy efficiency standards, reducing operational costs over the lifetime of the unit. “The new Select commercial rooftop units were designed with the future demands of our customers in mind by offering industry leading efficiencies paired with a rich compliment of features and options,” said Eric Newberg, Director, Commercial Product Management, Ducted Systems, North America, Building Technologies & Solutions, Johnson Controls. remote diagnostic monitoring SMART controls combined with a flexible design are key to decreasing installation and operating costs “Bringing maximum value without sacrificing quality is important for our customers. SMART controls combined with a flexible design are key to decreasing installation, maintenance and operating costs - saving more money over the life of the unit with a shorter payback window.” Select rooftop units are optimized with the latest proprietary advances in modeling technology to help preemptively identify issues, and an optional Mobile Access Portal (MAP) offers remote diagnostic monitoring for fewer trips to the job site. Single-side access to all serviceable items provides ease of service that is further simplified with accessible connections, service ports, coil cleaning hatches, hinged access panels, convenience outlets, service disconnect switches and optional service valves. energy efficiency standards Units are supported by the new Johnson Controls Commercial Application Support organization, which provides expert pre-sale consultation, and Johnson Controls Commercial Technical Service team, which provides leading field support. These teams offer technical and field support throughout every aspect of ownership, including selection, installation, replacement and service. Select rooftop units are offered alongside the award-winning YORK Sun Premier platform to provide a complete and competitive offering in this tonnage range. The new units offer up to 31% greater part-load efficiency (IEER) than competitive models and up to 15% greater IEER than the YORK Millennium legacy product. Energy costs are reduced to industry levels with 4-stage IntelliSpeed models available in 2020. In addition, Select rooftop units exceed aggressive DOE 2023 energy efficiency standards by up to 22%, while surpassing current DOE 2018 levels by up to 39%. building automation system The units integrate seamlessly with building automation system Verasys Select rooftop units feature easy-to-use controls that include a start-up and commissioning wizard to simplify the installation process. In addition, the units feature a prepackaged Smart Equipment controls platform for even greater efficiency and a full array of user-adaptable parameters. The units integrate seamlessly with building automation system Verasys to help maximize control for extended equipment life and reduced operating costs. Additional features include: Multiple airflow strategies, including two-stage constant-volume, two-stage with IntelliSpeed fan control, four-stage variable-air-volume and four-stage with IntelliSpeed fan control*. Competitive replacement opportunity with same footprint as the majority of similar tonnage-range units in the field, minimizing the need for costly, leak-prone transition curbs. volume powered exhaust A broad range of outdoor air options, including low-leak damper economizers, manual dampers, barometric relief, constant volume powered exhaust and modulating powered exhaust. Multiple heat options, including staged and modulating gas heat*, stainless steel heat exchangers and electric heat*. Select rooftop units will be featured at the 2020 AHR Expo (Booth 3833) Feb. 3-5, 2020, at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida.