Snowmelt system controls adjusted to save energy

At this large office campus, the sidewalk snowmelt system had never been reviewed or commissioned.

12/27/2013


During a recent retro-commissioning investigation for a large office complex, exp U.S. Services learned that the boiler-heated glycol system used for snow melting ran continually whenever the outdoor air temperature was below 38 F. NOAA weather records revealed that while the temperature is below 38 F for about 2250 hours/year, the actual amount of time of snowfall is only 580 hours/year. This difference of about 1700 hours represents the time the snowmelt system is on when it doesn’t need to be.

Because large areas were covered by eight different snowmelt systems, the calculated annual savings was 43,000 therms of natural gas and $21,000. This system was installed many years before the popularity of commissioning, but this speaks to the need for retro-commissioning, and/or at least a periodic review of control sequences and operations. 


Terrence Malloy is project manager for the energy solutions group at exp US Services Inc. He focuses on energy conservation, retro-commissioning, and renewable energy systems.

See more information on commissioning testing and standards below.



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.
Control noise, vibration in building design: Tackling acoustics and design issues; High-performance building design; NFPA 99; Combined heat, power
40 Under 40; Stand-alone medical buildings; NFPA 92; Specialty fire suppression; Applying 90.1 in lighting design
2016 Product of the Year Finalists: Vote now; Data center Q&A; LED codes; Smart buildings
Putting COPS into context; Designing medium-voltage electrical systems; Planning and designing resilient, efficient data centers; The nine steps of designing generator fuel systems
Designing generator systems; Using online commissioning tools; Selective coordination best practices
Understanding transfer switch operation; Coordinating protective devices; Analyzing NEC 2014 changes; Cooling data centers
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.
click me