February 2017  

President's Message

January 19, 2017, CPAEE Meeting - PSU HMC Central Plant Energy Savings Program and Plant Tour

Twenty-six people crowded into the training room of the Support Services Building at Penn State’s Hershey Medical Center anxiously awaiting the presentation on energy initiatives at the facility. Keith Kanoff, Department of Facilities-Building Systems Analyst presented an overview of the campus and highlighted the major energy-using systems. Kevin focused on the operations of the central plant and the eight phases of capital/energy savings projects that have been initiated. Kevin then invited Jesse Ohm of Optimum Energy to assist in the presentation on the chilled water plant optimization. The hosts were magnanimous as they patiently addressed questions of the curious energy aficionados. We learned the results of Penn State’s efforts of avoided costs and environmental impact: at end of 2016, the facility saved approximately $2.3M and cumulatively over $9M since implementation, including over $1M in Act 129 Savings and a reduction of 67k tons of carbon. Today, the facility operations more buildings and square footage at lower energy costs than a few years ago. The teaching hospital will continue their drive to higher energy efficiency once a new combined heat and power plant comes on line by late 2018.

 The presentations were followed by a tour of the central plant as the eager crowd split into two groups and were given a second round of show-and-tell.


 In developing an energy conservation measure, the Facilities’ team seek a 6- to 7-year ROI. Keith and the facilities’ team have obtained the energy reduction results by implementing: 

  •          Lighting conversions (T12 to T8 and more recently to LEDs)
  •          Installing VFDs on pump and fan motors along with the associated control sequences.
  •          Steam distribution improvements including testing and maintaining about 900 traps.
  •          Boiler Stack Economizers
  •          Mag bearing chillers that replace absorbers
  •          Chilled water plant optimization including sequencing chillers, pumps, and towers in each plant and sequence each of the three plants
  •          Airside optimization inside buildings 
  •          Overall heat recovery
  •          Controls upgrades


Fun facts about the Hershey Medical Center:

  •  For demand response, they can drop up to 2MW. A chilled water storage tank has the reserve to replace 1MW. The other MW comes from load shedding non-critical patient areas.
  •  The idea for the medical center was initiated in the 1950's when it was determined that the area needed a College of Medicine, and in joint effort with the Milton Hershey Foundation, which had a set aside for a hospital. Per the requirements of the Foundation, the original building was constructed in the shape of a cross, which is now obscured through years of growth and construction.
  •  10,000 employees
  •  Largest employer in Dauphin County
  •  $1.7B annual revenue
  •  551 beds
  •  $100M / year in research
  •  550 acres
  •  4.5M square feet including 0.9 M square feet of parking garages.
  •  9000 Tons of Cooling capacity across three chiller plants
  •  3 Cleaver Brooks boilers 27,000 #/hr @ 150 psig each
  •  At 50 degrees ambient, the facility has to make chilled water
  •  Electrical power is on the PPL-LP5 tariff for most of the facility with some outlying buildings on PPL GS-3

Case studies

  1. MeLink kitchen vent hood controls VAV, SAVINGS EXCEEDED PROJECTIONS - $77k annual 
  2. 900,000 square foot parking garage lighting project: pre-project had an irregular lighting pattern with a high of 25 fc. Post-project, the lighting was a constant 15-16 fc
  3. Lessons Learned- UPC1 single story, return plenum. Lighting conversion successfully completed. Sealed perimeter. Outpatient clinic, but janitors needed to have air movement. Eventually realized $55k. 
  4. A story of M&V. Chilled Water Optimization- N+1 redundancy- flexibility name of the game when it comes to optimization. Variable primary chilled water flow. Hydraulic study pre-implementation. Identified maintenance items. Fixed stuff. Commissioned mid-June 2016. Made all pumps VFD. Only physical work except meters to read energy consumption for each piece of equipment. Deployed energy optimization control. Maximums efficiency by evening the energy consumption across the system. Rarely does the strategy involve maxing out one piece of equipment before indexing the next. Rather optimization is achieved my part loading multiple units. Results: 1st-year annual savings $250k, 1.2M kW. More expected through full season operation in 2017. Essence all drives made VFD.
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Upcoming Events

Come for a presentation about the Capitol Complex Central Cooling Plant which plant operates 7/24/365 and supplies cooling and some heating to 4.5 Million square feet of Commonwealth office space including the Capitol building. The plant operates with 3-3000 ton York chillers and 1-1500 ton Trane chiller.  The plant is located underground at the solder’s grove of the Capitol Complex.        

Douglas Hatcher, the Director of the Energy and Resource Management Office, and Richard Pastula, HVAC Supervisor in the Central Plant, will give a short presentation about the plant and its operations followed by a tour.

Click here for more information and to register.

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