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Featured Stories

Retrofitting Primary Chilled Water Pumps With VFDs

November 26, 2012
Take a large hospital, subtract unexamined rules of thumb, add meaningful incremental improvements like VFD’s and a controls upgrade, and what do you get? Smarter engineering via improved performance for both the pumps and the chillers. But it all starts with one little question.
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Humidification: Options, Amines, and the Impacts of ASHRAE Standards 62.1 And 170

November 26, 2012
Whether your system uses boiler steam or another method, the authors walk you through the pros and cons of various sytems, the evolving standard landscape regarding those corrosion-fighting amines, and some energy reduction ideas.
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How The Culture Of Inefficiency Is Outfoxing LEED®, ASHRAE, And Efficiency Programs

November 9, 2012
How many energy-efficient or certified buildings are not living up to the label? Very, very many, if this Ohio commissioning/auditing firm’s experience is close to typical. They report on common weaknesses in efficiency strategies and on real-life patterns of upgrades gone wrong across an array of equipment types. While flaws in well-intentioned processes remain, a more careful investment of human energy can still yield the desired reduction in building energy.
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Modular Central Utility Plants: A Different Approach

November 9, 2012
Done right, going modular can be a good fit for hospitals in search of efficiency. From design to specification to pre-shipment, the process demands engineering attention to the right details at the right times. Get a designer’s notes from experience and learn how to take advantage of what a modular central plant can offer.
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Pumping and Flow Controls in Geothermal Heat Pump Systems

November 9, 2012
What are the key technical challenges and design options for optimizing a geothermal heat pump design? Review the pros and cons involved with centralized or distributed pumping, with hybrid or decoupled systems, and with the controls that can guide them.
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Less Capacity Is The Coolest

October 31, 2012
Sometimes, what seems like a need for more cooling capacity could be the need to take a hard look and fine-tune the existing chiller plant. With a hospital expansion coming up, the team on this UMass Memorial Health Care project avoided adding up to 120 tons of capacity with tactics that included attacking inefficiencies in piping, valves, cooling towers, and controls.
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Are We Unknowingly Wrong-Sizing Ducts?

October 31, 2012
A small team led by an award-winning Florida engineer decided to test conventional wisdom about pressure loss, both in a straight run and in comparing supply and exhaust scenarios. Early returns suggest the data may be flowing in an unexpected fashion.
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Wireless Pneumatic Thermostats Deliver Smoother Upgrade

October 31, 2012
Follow the engineer at a large hospital complex in Phoenix as he pursues less disruptive and less expensive ways to boost BAS performance and budget wellness, all in the name of patient comfort.
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Energy-Efficient Dehumidification In Health Care Facilities

October 31, 2012
With a wide spectrum of specialized spaces and particular outside air requirements, a hospital’s en-ergy-efficiency efforts start when arranging which areas go where. From there, the author leaves no technology unturned — chilled beams, geothermal, DOAS, VRF, etc. — in evaluating which ap-proaches might best contribute proper ventilation and humidity in which environments, with an eye on minimizing facility energy consumption.
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The Importance Of Facility Air Balance

October 31, 2012
Brush up on the environmental factors that can throw things out of, well, balance, and note how space pressure problems can create assorted complications.
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3/27/14 11:00 am EST

How to Calculate Backup Power Supply Requirements for Your Facility

On-Demand This webinar reviews how to determine power requirements of facility loads; electrical characteristics and impact of different types of loads such as large motors and UPS systems on power supply sizing; acceptable power sources and other constraints applied by building codes; and how software tools can be used to simplify the process of calculating backup power requirements.  

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2014 April

Check out the April 2014 issue of Engineered Systems, with features on backup power supply requirements, cyberattacks, and much more!

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Design Flaws

Following up on Howard McKew's April "Tomorrow's Environment" column: Have you ever thought twice about reporting problems with another firm's design? What did you do?
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The Green Energy Management Book

Learn from our experts how to evaluate job opportunities, market your services, sell a Walk-through Survey, target areas for an Energy Audit, calculate energy savings, do retrofit work, and win continuing contracts for retrofit work.

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Tomorrow's Environment Podcast

This series from longtime columnist and chronic forward-thinker Howard McKew covers a lot of ground -- from retrocommissioning to systems training, on toward checklists for drawings and tips for meeting minutes. Click HERE to be taken to the podcast page!

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