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TPC Flow Intelligent(TM)M Controls

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Performance Engineering Group
32995 Industrial Road
Livonia, MI, 48150
USA



Press release date: September 2, 2014

LIVONIA, MI – Performance Engineering Group (PEG), a distributor for Thermodynamic Process Control (TPC), saves Detroit Country Day Schools (Country Day) upfront costs and system capacity by understanding the performance of the building before spending dollars on new equipment.

Detroit Country Day School has a century-long history as a private school when it was founded in the city of Detroit in 1914. The school moved from the Detroit city limits to the suburb of Beverly Hills in 1957. In the 1970's the school split into separate buildings for different grades. There are now four "schools," two in Beverly Hills and two in Bloomfield Hills in Oakland County serving approximately 1,400 pre-Kindergarten through 12th grade students.

Detroit Country Day School was concerned about failures of the heating and domestic water in the Upper School because the boilers were anywhere from 40 to 50 years old and running at 70 percent efficiency. In addition to the boilers being past their "useful" life according to ASHRAE (American Society of Heating, Refrigeration, Air Conditioning Engineers), there was no temperature reset which is important to keep the boilers on track and the system was oversized. When a boiler is oversized it wastes both energy and money. Performance Engineering Group had previously supplied Country Day with the replacement equipment for the Lower School's heating system.

Prior to putting the replacement of the Upper School's heating and domestic water system out for bid, Country Day decided to be proactive and work with PEG to install a unique intelligent control called a TPC Flow Intelligence™ system (TPC Control). The purpose of installing this TPC Control on the existing equipment was to provide Country Day with more information about how to size the new equipment correctly. When a new building is constructed, the Architect makes plans that include the heating of the structure. In the absence of an existing structure, an estimation must be used to determine the size of equipment to be installed. This design estimation is made with the worst case scenario in mind and then redundancy is added in the form of an additional boiler or boilers. It is recognized that buildings are improved or modified over time, but many boiler retro-fits are replaced BTU for BTU. The TPC Control provides the exact measurement for the current structure, producing more accurate sizing.

The TPC Control is a boiler control that is also a data logger. The logger function samples building loading conditions and records with date and time stamp the hourly averages. This data is retained in the control's data memory storage. In order to size and design effectively, you need to know the largest loading condition. This information however, cannot be found on your heating bill. One of the most powerful capabilities of the TPC Control is its ability to collect and store performance data. A building's load profile will range widely due to type of space, internal heat gains, occupancy schedule, end user heating equipment, percent of outside air and other weather related loading. These conditions can cause major changes in loading. This data-set includes outdoor temperature, the load in BTUs, system flow, supply and return temperatures.

The data from the TPC Control showed that condensing boilers would give Country Day the best outcome in terms of system efficiency and cost savings. With this knowledge in hand, other companies were asked to bid on the Upper School project. The other contractors did not agree with the direction of efficient boilers. They wanted non-condensing boilers. But the results from PEG's analysis convinced Country Day that high efficiency was the way forward.

Thus, seven 630 MBTU/hr. boilers were installed and configured as modules of three boilers and four boilers, with primary/secondary pumping, using three variable speed pumps and a new water heating system (two 300MTU/hr. heaters that incorporates the same technology as the boilers). A capital savings of $205,000 was captured for Country Day! Capital savings were achieved because the TPC Control provided more information upfront. It provided exact measurements. Country Day was able to determine with confidence how much energy the building is using which allowed for more aggressive sizing.

The TPC Control is valuable before the purchase of any new equipment and after the equipment is installed. Prior to the purchase of new equipment, the TPC Control measures the energy the building is using. So you get the exact measurements for sizing. Once your new equipment is installed, the TPC Control then brings all equipment into one easy to understand network. It continues to measure the energy the system is using, then modulates the boilers to replace only that energy. The TPC Control can also work with old equipment so you can be aggressive with sizing and still have older equipment available for backup.

The Upper School also obtained $31,000 in rebates with the purchase of new boilers, reduced the boiler firing cycles, brought the system efficiency up to 96%, and with the TPC Control still in place continues to verify and measure peak load allowing for maximum efficiency and cost savings. This means the boilers never over-fire which wastes fuel and causes short cycles. Country Day can make adjustments remotely, even shut off the pumps. The TPC Control network can be accessed anywhere from a laptop.

Performance Engineering Group is specifically trained to understand both the contractor's and the owner's needs. Their specialty is evaluating existing systems, using innovative technology and their knowledge to maximize the return on assets and reduce the consumption of resources. PEG offers a line of investigative services for air, water and electricity problems. The process is non-invasive and runs parallel with the building operations.

Detroit Country Day School achieved capital savings and reduced consumption by using the TPC Control to understand the performance of the building before spending dollars on new equipment and continues benefiting from reduced operating and utility costs.

Performance Engineering Group
32995 Industrial Road
Livonia, MI 48150
USA
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