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On July 21, Armstrong Fluid Technology, in partnership with Maddock Industries, hosted engineers and building owners at the Palmer House Hilton Hotel in the Chicago Loop at one of its many international stops in its Design Envelope Symposium tour. Since the beginning of 2014, the company has been working to educate the industry on what it is calling the latest in innovative HVAC technology. The symposium centers on explaining how the technology can be applied to fluid flow systems for optimum energy efficiency in order to meet current and future energy codes.
Michael O’Neill, manager of Global Corporate Events at Armstrong, kicked off the event with a welcome. As a part of his welcome, O’Neill demonstrated an interactive audience response system that was used to conduct real-time audience surveys throughout the presentations that were given. Next, the microphone was turned over to Matthew Berrell, manager of National Sales at Armstrong, who set the stage with statistics on why energy efficiency should be a concern for the industry and how Armstrong plans to help address the subject. Berrell began his discussion by gauging the design challenges that attendees were facing. To the question of design load performance, attendees responded that buildings don’t perform as designed 50 percent or more of the time due to lack of integrated design, oversized equipment, and other related factors. With this point made, Berrell shifted the discussion to the difference between traditional pump selection and control to the benefits of the company’s Design Envelope technology. Some of the benefits touched on were: affordability; lowest installed and life cycle cost; sustainability; improved energy and environmental performance; flexibility; reduced design, operating and regulatory risk; livability; and lasting occupant comfort.
Armstrong’s Design Envelope technology fuses together four features, or what the company calls core competencies: heat transfer, fluid flow, variable speed, and demand based control. The technology delivers optimized lifetime building performance by modeling equipment and system behavior, monitoring authentic system conditions, and dynamically adjusting equipment operation to match system demand. This is achieved through the company’s specific product combination that makes up a suite of solutions. Those products are pumping systems, booster systems, an Intelligent Fluid Management System (iFMS), an Integrated Plant Controller (IPC), a Chilled Water Integrated Plant Package (IPP), and Compass circulators.
A point that was spotlighted throughout all of the presentations is how the Design Envelope not only complies with but exceeds the ASHRAE 90.1 energy standard for buildings. The standard details the minimum requirements for the energy-efficient design of buildings, and has been adopted by most North American building codes. The latest 2013 version features more stringent requirements, many that industry professionals are still looking for ways to fully comply with. In reaction to the standard, Armstrong has taken the stance that all pumps that are 1 hp and above should have integrated controls. The company believes that sensorless controls are the next, and possibly final step, in energy saving opportunities, as they could be used independently to compute and track the flow of the system and adjust pump speed as necessary. In one of the presentation example scenarios, it was stated that a 70 percent energy reduction is obtainable in systems where an Armstrong Design Envelope pumping unit with integrated sensorless controls is installed.
Armstrong highlighted its enhanced, multi-parallel, multi-language variable flow with parallel sensorless technology, the IPS4000. Designed with innovative variable speed pumping technology, the IPS4000 offers solutions that enable variable speed pumping systems to exceed the efficiency levels demanded by the market today. The IPS4000 series controllers are specifically designed to control multiple secondary pumps for HVAC systems in both heating and cooling applications. The IPS4000 controller is capable of controlling up to six variable speed pumps in parallel or standby configurations and up to 12 zones. The series is available in the following configurations: IPS 4001 (3 pumps and 2 zones); IPS 4002 (4 pumps and 5 zones), and IPS 4003 (6 pumps and 12 zones).
Another offering highlighted at the symposium was the company’s chiller plant automation, IPC 9511/9521. In an audience survey about chiller plant performance, the majority of attendees responded that the best performance range that they typically saw in a chiller plant was 0.6-0.7kw/ton. Armstrong’s IPC 9521 is a robust, factory-built automation system designed for a variety of chiller plant configurations that includes all-variable speed plants. It can be applied to constant primary systems with the condenser water loop or constant primary and variable secondary systems with the condenser water loop. IPC 9521 is a standard solution, meaning a site-configurable device that during commissioning the installer inputs basic system data as opposed to creating any site specific operating code. It is intended for up to five chillers, five primary pumps, five condenser pumps, and five cooling towers. Also, it can network with building automation systems, store data, and enable remote access with secure connection.
Armstrong’s the ECO*PULSE HVAC Health Service was also highlighted at the symposium. When surveyed, over half of the symposium attendees said that they don’t have full visibility of HVAC system performance on their projects. The ECO*PULSE helps to protect the professional's ROI through its on-board diagnostic service that has been shown to assist with up to 25 percent annual energy cost savings. The offering is a subscription-based service for customers that provides continuous on board diagnostic review, issue identification and remedies, real-time efficiency assessments, and calculation reports on savings in costs, energy and GHG emissions. In addition, Armstrong offers a “you save or we pay” promise with the service. Included in the price, this promise gives the customer the option of accepting Armstrong’s $100,000 Energy Savings Guarantee.
The presentations concluded with information on Armstrong’s Design Envelope Application Guides. Take a look at the website link to see case studies and scenarios of the technology and see if it is something that interests you.