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Trane was working with LMU to find the most cost-effective way to upgrade its nearly obsolete Upper Campus chiller plant. Replacing the chiller and the controls would make the HVAC system run more efficiently, but the resulting savings were not enough to offset the expense.
“LMU was already achieving such high levels of efficiency at the Upper Campus that it was difficult to find enough energy savings potential to justify the project,” said Adam Wittwer, Trane’s Los Angeles sales manager.
To make the numbers work, Trane brought the project to Enerliance. Trane determined that through optimizing the Upper Campus and University Hall chiller plants and air handling systems with Enerliance’s LOBOS software, an intelligent HVAC optimization platform, it could achieve the cost benefits necessary to justify the upgrades. A recently completed facilities upgrade at the Chandler Fashion Center in Chandler, Ariz., where LOBOS optimization software was combined with ultra-efficient Trane chillers, cut the shopping center’s energy consumption by more than 1.8 million kWh to yield over $251,000 in annual energy cost savings.
When Trane added the LOBOS software to the LMU upgrade platform, the numbers changed significantly, and the savings became substantial enough to green-light the project. “When we combine the LOBOS software with our chillers and controls, that’s where the power is,” said Trane Account Manager Omar Chamma. “LOBOS is a proven technology that works every time.”
LOBOS monitors and controls every energy-using device in the university’s HVAC system. By constantly making micro-adjustments, LOBOS balances the HVAC system for efficiency on a continuous basis. The system maintains a consistently comfortable environment in every LMU building, from classrooms to laboratories, to dormitories and offices, while using energy as efficiently as possible. Because of the energy savings that LOBOS added to the project, Trane was able to predict, through its performance contracting program, a monthly savings for LMU of more than $52,000.
“We need our students, faculty, and staff to be comfortable,” said LMU Central Plant Engineer Doug Paterson, “but we need to conserve energy as well. With the implementation of the LOBOS optimization software integrating with our existing EMS HVAC control platforms, we anticipate HVAC energy savings up to 20 percent. LOBOS allows us to fine tune individual control points to be more or less aggressive in saving energy or by providing more cooling as needed.”
Thanks to the collaboration between Enerliance and Trane, the multi-million dollar chiller plant upgrade will pay for itself in just a few years in the form of realized energy savings. Without LOBOS, the project would not have been funded and the university would not have benefited from the savings.
“The combined benefits of Trane and Enerliance products have allowed LMU to project unprecedented HVAC energy savings in the coming years,” said Paterson. “These savings, combined with the environmental gain, make this project a win for everyone.”
“The LMU project is the most recent collaborative effort between Trane and Enerliance,” said Scot Duncan, Enerliance CEO. “It is an excellent example of the great things that can happen when LOBOS HVAC intelligence joins forces with an industry leader like Trane to support the upgrade efforts of building owners and make efficiency a profitable, sustainable endeavor without compromising the comfort of the occupants.”
Publication date: 1/6/2014