When it comes to celebrating the new Exploratorium museum project, located at Pier 15 along San Francisco’s Embarcadero, the engineering and systems design professionals at Integral Group tend to take it a bit … well, personally.
The author’s longtime interest in bundling efficiency techniques in a single system eventually led him to a new pairing: VRF zoning technology and geothermal design. See how he got there and how this couple played out for an historic 107-year-old Iowa courthouse that serves the law through the area’s brutal winters and humid summers.
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.
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.
Kevin Amyot had serious qualms last spring when contractor Ed Friedrich first proposed a major pump-retrofit project at the Sunset Motor Inn, one of the properties Amyot manages for the H. A. Manosh Corporation in Morrisville, VT. Friedrich’s $13,000 estimate called for the replacement of 18 fixed-speed circulating pumps in the heating system at the Sunset with 10 circulators from the Grundfos Pumps Corporation.
For the massive 235,000-sq-ft Merrimack County Nursing Home in New Hampshire, the geothermal source available nearby may not have been the fountain of youth, but it did prove key to the center’s “uber-green” mechanical system retrofit. See how the companies involved brought together 16 wells, over 300 water-to-air heat pumps, and the rest of the 615-ton system to serve this 290-bed facility.
Effective hydronics, like many things in life, is about maintaining balance. Learn more about achieving the three key conditions necessary for giving your modern controller a fighting chance to do its job.
This large complex is welcoming a host of new arrivals, from new boilers and chillers to an
overhaul of its hydronic strategy. Avoiding a whole lot of drilling was one benefit of their new design choice. Balancing first cost, maintenance costs, and the system itself were additional positives for keeping all 225 units comfortable and affordable.
Leaning on experience and data from various K-12 cities and projects, the author pursues some less conventional design approaches. They may revolve around radiant heating and/or cooling, but depending on school size and other factors, the smart use of heat recovery, DOAS, and improved central plants could also put a project on the HVAC honor roll.