Presidio of Monterey projects save energy and money | Article
MONTEREY PRESIDIO, Calif. (October 20, 2022) – A refurbished heating and ventilation system at the Ord Military Community Exchange Station not only saves $43,000 in energy costs per year, but also makes the building more comfortable for customers and employees.
Richard Thorne, energy manager for the U.S. Army Presidio of Monterey Garrison, said the project is one of four energy projects the garrison has completed this year that he says will help taxpayers save money. save more than $52,000 a year. While the Garrison planned three of these projects well in advance, a simple observation led to the fourth, showing that it always pays to be on the lookout for energy savings.
The PX project is the largest of the four projects, and to realize the savings, the contractors refurbished all of the existing heating and ventilation units that serve the main PX store and the stores in the adjacent mall, Thorne said. They also added new controls to the system.
“The units are from the late 1970s or mid-1980s and hadn’t been overhauled for a very long time,” Thorne said. “It was ripe for an energy project.”
Given Monterey’s cool temperatures year-round, air conditioning isn’t necessary, so the system draws air from outside the building and distributes it inside, Thorne said. The old system worked all day, but the new system, which went live in the spring, only works 20% of the time.
The new unit’s air dampers and controls modulate fan speed and damper position to provide the right amount of air for heating, ventilation and cooling, Thorne said. Energy savings come from reducing fan speed in heating and ventilation modes.
The system’s computerized control panel allows operators to see if something is wrong with the system and fix it before customers and employees even notice there’s a problem, Thorne said.
Additionally, the Army and Air Force Exchange Service paid for the replacement of aging fluorescent lighting with more energy-efficient LEDs, Thorne said.
“This energy project, along with the AAFES lighting project, achieved almost 30% energy savings when comparing FY22 to FY2019 pre-COVID,” Thorne said. “With the new controls and air shutters, the building is much more comfortable and less stagnant.”
Another project in Building 618, Munzer Hall, an administrative building of the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center, involved adjusting heating and cooling airflows and outdoor airflow for each volume zone box. variable air to the correct amounts, Thorne said.
Thorne said any time technicians can reduce the speed of a motor, it results in energy savings. “Even small shifts in gears can result in significant energy savings,” he said.
Plus, employees often leave the building’s front doors open for an ocean breeze, Thorne said, and that eliminates the need for a fan. “Again, save quite a bit of energy by keeping the fan off when not needed,” he said.
These simple scheduling changes resulted in approximately 20% energy savings when comparing fiscal year 2022 energy bills to pre-COVID 2019 energy bills, a savings of approximately $3,000 per year , Thorne said.
Another project in Building 4283, the Porter Youth Center, saved about $6,000 a year by adjusting heating system controls to better match occupancy usage, Thorne said.
The heating system came on too soon, Thorne said, and the air systems also came on too soon, pushing cold air into the building until the heating system started.
To fix the problem, technicians updated the system schedules to start the heating system first and then the air system about 30 minutes before occupancy, Thorne said. They also programmed in all the federal parties. In addition to saving money, the building is also more comfortable.
The fourth project that Thorne himself led after noticing that a fan at the World Café across from his office was still on.
“During a recent coffee break, I asked the owner of the World Café about the fan,” Thorne said. “It turns out that the fan is controlled by a simple switch. The fan is left on to ensure the space is not too hot in the morning. Once this kitchen starts early, it doesn’t take long before the space gets really warm, especially if there was no air circulation before opening.
Thorne submitted a work request and technicians will install a simple programmable timer and reverse the direction of the fan’s airflow to blow air into the space instead of exhausting it, Thorne said.
The simple fix will reduce fan power consumption by about 70 percent and save about $90 a year, Thorne said.
To report energy-saving ideas to USAG PoM, contact Thorne at (831) 242-4296 or [email protected]