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Process Cooling

Keep your facility’s process cooling systems energy efficient through setpoints, cooling towers and more. The ComEd Energy Efficiency Program offers incentives to help you get started today.

Eliminating waste, saving money and improving productivity in every aspect of the manufacturing process is integral to achieving a positive and sustainable bottom line. Today’s technology advancements and energy efficiency practices in process cooling are improving how industries like food processing, plastics, rubber products, pharmaceutical and others operate. By applying lean energy principles, manufacturers are maximizing energy-saving options to lower operating costs and improve product quality. The ComEd Energy Efficiency Program can help with strategies, technical expertise and incentives to improve process cooling systems while saving you money and energy.

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1. Use a System Approach

Taking a system approach to evaluating potential energy savings and improving process cooling efficiency consists of identifying ways to improve equipment operation and realize load reduction opportunities in an integrated manner. Properly optimizing process cooling operations may reduce cooling costs by 10-25 percent annually.

2. Optimize Chilled Water and Condenser Water Setpoints

Chillers operate at maximum efficiency when chilled water temperature is increased and condenser water temperature is decreased. Loads should be evaluated to determine the maximum allowed chilled water temperature. Then the chilled water setpoint should be increased to the warmest temperature possible while still meeting load requirements. Condensing water temperature can also be decreased using a reset strategy based on outdoor temperature to achieve additional energy savings. For both improvements, consult the chiller manufacturer when determining these temperature setpoints to ensure the chiller is operating within its allowable range.

3. Use Cooling Towers in Place of Chillers

For applications that do not require cooling below approximately 80°F, it may be possible to use warmer water from a cooling tower to meet the load in place of chillers. Energy savings are typically at least 70 percent for such conversions. For applications that require a lower temperature, it may be possible to use a cooling tower, or dry cooler, only in the winter months to provide free cooling and decrease annual chiller energy consumption.

4. Add Variable Frequency Drives

For systems with variable chilled water demand, it may be possible to install a variable frequency drive (VFD) on the supply pump to better match chilled water supply with demand and reduce pumping energy consumption. Similarly, VFDs can be installed on the cooling tower fans to efficiently maintain a constant water temperature and provide significant savings compared to on-off control of the fans.

5. Fine Tune Controls

To help maximize efficiency and lower maintenance costs, digital control of the process cooling system can be implemented. This allows fine-tuning of the process cooling system to stage chillers and directly control system components.

6. Evaluate High Efficiency Chillers

Assessing the efficiency of chillers will determine if an upgrade to a new high efficiency unit makes sense economically. Depending on the age and condition of chillers currently in use at the plant, new equipment can reduce energy use by as much as 30 percent and increase operational reliability.

Process Cooling

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Reduce the energy waste of your company’s process cooling with the technical expertise, strategies and incentives of the ComEd Energy Efficiency Program.

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