Like several industries, if HVAC makes real headlines in national publications, it’s probably because something bad happened. That’s really unfair, given all of the incalculable comfort provided on a daily basis and the effort spent on safety and efficiency. But that’s generally the way it goes, and lately, Legionnaire’s disease is back in the news thanks to testing that turned up the culprit in the water system last month at Allegheny General in Pittsburgh.
We almost always think about the BAS as a tool that is a critical part of energy management, so these systems are typically focused on those systems that directly use energy — notably the HVAC and lighting systems.
A pre-retrofit report card helped this major Chicago health care facility chart a smart course of treatment for its HVAC. After improvements for chillers, cooling towers, refrigerants, pumps, and more, the hospital’s central plant upgrade now looks forward to long-term savings, cleaner operations with streamlined maintenance, and better reliability.
Are we headed for a scenario reminiscent of big-budget disaster films? Maybe not. But when it comes to water usage, it’s time for engineers to put down the popcorn and embrace a new role: designer of more responsible data centers. Optimizing cooling towers, boosting the CoC, and considering your WUE are just three steps for maintaining the flow of information while minimizing the flow of H2O.