Congratulations to two of our engineers, Vijay Gopalakrishnan and Kathleen Sturtevant, for receiving the 2016 ASHRAE Technical Paper Award for their paper titled “Improving Variable-Speed Pumping Control to Maximize Savings,” written with Alexandra Brogan (Plug Smart), Zachary Valigosky (CLEAResult), and Kelly Kissock, PhD, PE (Director of the Renewable and Clean Energy program at the University of Dayton). They will each be presented a plaque and honorarium at the 2017 ASHRAE Annual Conference in Long Beach, CA, this June.
In the paper, the authors state that despite variable frequency drives (VFDs) being one of the most efficient methods of flow control for pumping systems, many variable-flow systems are still not optimally controlled. As a result, utilities that incentivize VFDs and rely on ideal energy savings calculations may be overestimating savings by 30%. This paper examines the difference between actual and ideal savings, why they occur, and how they influence the industry’s field measurements, simulations, and experimental data. The authors also provide several best practices to optimally control variable-flow pumping systems to maximize achieved savings.
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