Koplin is the president of JDA Consulting Engineers in Baltimore. He has over 30 years of experience designing and testing complex central plants and has pioneered advances in mission-critical design. System reliability and operability is enhanced though integrated commissioning of each project.
Commissioning and testing has been a core component of the consulting
and design work developed at JDA Consulting Engineers since 1990. Our
firm’s experience suggests that VSD technology has become a panacea for
solving the complex design issues that relate to centrifugal pump
selection. As JDA’s team commissions large, complex mechanical plants,
we find more systems where the VSD is practically abandoned in place.
Rather than providing the precise control of flow and pressure or
reducing energy consumption and demand, the VSDs appear to be “stuck”
at a single speed.
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.