SEATTLE — Optimum Energy received a new patent this month. The newly awarded patent covers Optimum Energy’s methodology for achieving maximum energy efficiency across a campus by coordinating multiple chiller plants in a single, combined system. The company has developed a unique logic for assessing efficiency in real time and staging chillers across a campus so that the system maintains preferred temperatures and pressures using the least possible amount of energy.
“Our methodology treats the campus holistically. The focus is on the best efficiency across the campus, not just in individual chiller plants,” said Ian Dempster, senior director of product innovation. “If the campus load goes down, for example, our software may decide to drop a chiller or pump less water—it makes decisions based on whole-system performance, so we’re always optimizing for the sweet spot.”
The technology is already at work in university and pharmaceutical campuses, contributing to savings of $500,000 to $1 million or more per customer annually.
The patent, Systems and Methods for Reducing Energy Consumption of a Chilled Water Distribution System (patent no. US10415869), is Optimum Energy’s 17th in a succession of patents for advanced technology. Two were received last year, one that harnesses the Internet of Things for a system that connects smart valves for communicating to a controller to enable better efficiency decisions, and another that brings the power of machine learning to chiller plant control, enabling systems to always operate at top efficiency.
Optimum Energy also has 11 patent applications pending,
“Our focus is not just on the technology we have today, but on the technology that will take us into tomorrow,” said Larry Stapleton, president of Optimum Energy. “This is part of our lifeblood as a company. It’s increasingly obvious that optimizing our energy use is essential, and we have to move beyond today’s best practices. We’re focused on continually setting a new, higher standard for energy optimization.”
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