Military keep cool in Texas

When new air conditioning equipment was needed at the massive Randolph Air Force Base in San Antonio, the federal government turned to HTS Texas.

10/01/2010


Summer in South Texas can be sweltering, to say the least. So when new air conditioning equipment was needed at the massive Randolph Air Force Base in San Antonio, the federal government turned to HTS Texas.

With more than 10,000 people living and working on the south-central Texas military base, where temperatures reach average highs above 90 degrees and humidity soars to more than 80 percent each summer, air conditioning is a vital component of employee productivity and, therefore, a company’s bottom line.

Such high-demand air conditioning systems can consume a great deal of energy if not properly designed with state-of-the-art technologies. So base officials recently launched renewed energy conservation efforts to reduce utility payments, which are approximately $500,000 over budget so far this year, due in part to a 7% rate increase by City Public Service (CPS), the San Antonio power company.

Base officials earlier this year tapped HTS Texas to outfit the 200,000-square-foot, U.S. Green Building Council LEED-Silver-certified military facility with more efficient HVAC equipment. That equipment includes a McQuay magnetic bearing chiller, McQuay air handling units, and Enviro-Tec Variable Air Volume (VAV) boxes in a system designed for energy efficiency. Additionally, the Air Force base will stringently follow its base policy of leaving air conditioning settings between 76 and 78 degrees during the summer.

The project received a $67,500 rebate just for installing the magnetic bearing chiller. That significant rebate from CPS was possible because of the power company’s commercial rebates on the replacement of older equipment with new, highly efficient equipment. 

The magnetic bearing technology used in the McQuay frictionless centrifugal chiller provides superior energy efficiency by eliminating the high friction losses of conventional centrifugal compressors, according to McQuay. For example, the chiller requires less than two amps to start, compared to 500 to 600 amps for a traditional screw compressor chiller. And, because magnetic bearings require no lubrication, there is no need for oil heaters, oil coolers, oil pumps, or oil piping.

“We are all about providing the most efficient HVAC equipment available because it makes the most sense for our clients, both from a comfort and financial standpoint,” notes John Winckler, HVAC Systems Consultant with HTS Texas’ San Antonio office. “High energy-efficiency system designs save money in the long run—an investment building owners understand offers greater return.”

Information provided by HTS Texas.



No comments
Consulting-Specifying Engineer's Product of the Year (POY) contest is the premier award for new products in the HVAC, fire, electrical, and...
Consulting-Specifying Engineer magazine is dedicated to encouraging and recognizing the most talented young individuals...
The MEP Giants program lists the top mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and fire protection engineering firms in the United States.
Water use efficiency: Diminishing water quality, escalating costs; Lowering building energy use; Power for fire pumps
Building envelope and integration; Manufacturing industrial Q&A; NFPA 99; Testing fire systems
Labs and research facilities: Q&A with the experts; Water heating systems; Smart building integration; 40 Under 40 winners
Maintaining low data center PUE; Using eco mode in UPS systems; Commissioning electrical and power systems; Exploring dc power distribution alternatives
Protecting standby generators for mission critical facilities; Selecting energy-efficient transformers; Integrating power monitoring systems; Mitigating harmonics in electrical systems
Commissioning electrical systems in mission critical facilities; Anticipating the Smart Grid; Mitigating arc flash hazards in medium-voltage switchgear; Comparing generator sizing software
As brand protection manager for Eaton’s Electrical Sector, Tom Grace oversees counterfeit awareness...
Amara Rozgus is chief editor and content manager of Consulting-Specifier Engineer magazine.
IEEE power industry experts bring their combined experience in the electrical power industry...
Michael Heinsdorf, P.E., LEED AP, CDT is an Engineering Specification Writer at ARCOM MasterSpec.