NORRISTOWN, Pa. — When Pepco Energy Services (PES) wanted to find cost-effective ways to improve the operations of its Midtown Thermal Control Center (MTCC) in Atlantic City, New Jersey, it contacted Tustin Energy Solutions (TES), a commercial energy management company located in Norristown, Pennsylvania. TES made energy efficiency upgrades and utilized a non-proprietary automated plant optimization application. The result was a nearly 25 percent improvement in operating efficiencies and a savings of over $500,000 annually in energy, repair and unnecessary services.

According to Brad Pappal, TES general manager, the chiller plant was relying on many of the same control strategies that were in place when the plant was built over 15 years ago. It was operated and maintained with a series of independent components and controls that performed the function, but not necessarily efficiently. Based on Tustin Energy Services’ initial assessment, it was clear that the largest opportunity for cost effective energy reduction was in the chilled water production process.

Validation Key to Project Moving Forward

TES contacted Kiltech Inc., its partner for central plant optimization, and together they worked with Pepco over a 10-month period to accurately portray what might be gained by implementing a central plant optimization system. “It was vital that the achievable benefits were accurately quantified to gain approval to proceed,” said Pappal.

TES submitted a proposal showing that chilled water production costs could be reduced by well over 20 percent by implementing advanced chilled water plant optimization. Once the project was approved, TES made several energy efficiency upgrades that included utilizing a non-proprietary optimization system called CPECS (Central Plant Energy Control System). “When CPECS is deployed, either in new construction or retrofit, it routinely achieves an annual average of 0.55 kW/ton and lower for the entire chiller plant, depending on the application,” said Pappal. “This translates into significant annual energy and cost savings.”

Central Plant Energy Control System Implemented

The CPECS platform uses an open protocol and fully modeled methodology. “The approach is model and simulation driven and is customized to PES’ plant and operations,” said Joshua Kahan, general manager of Kiltech. “At the heart of the software is an algorithm that is computing all possible chiller, pump, and cooling tower sequencing permutations, modified flows, set points, and load limits. These calculations find the combination of equipment and speeds that result in the lowest kW input and/or the lowest instantaneous cost of production. All of this is recorded, reported, and implemented in real time.”

The system’s automated demand response, used for balancing supply and demand, allows operators to program the optimization system so it stays under a predetermined plant electrical load. “Many of MTCC’s customers are event-driven and when there are large events, usage can increase dramatically,” said John Rauch, PES plant operations manager. “The CPECS can now help PES better manage these peak usage episodes.”

Plant optimization where components work optimally as part of a networked, interrelated system has allowed PES to reach a new level of plant efficiency. Savings are expected to be 20-25 percent annually. Along with upgrades and equipment, TES services are expected to save PES over $500,000 annually.

For more information about TES, visit

Publication date: 12/22/2014

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