Optimizing HVAC Equipment
In 2007, New York City implemented PlaNYC, an energy reduction plan with a goal to reduce consumption of electricity and subsequently reducing Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions by 30% by 2017. The plan showed that by replacing older reciprocating air conditioner systems with new “scroll” compressors, replacing pneumatic temperature controls with digital controls, installing new condensing units, and utilizing VFD (variable frequency drive motors), the Garden could achieve the goals set forth by this plan.
The Department of Energy Management (DEM/DCAS) also developed funding opportunities to assist in the funding of these new systems. The Garden was able to calculate the cost of energy savings by using this new equipment and, over a period of time, the savings not only paid for the equipment and installation but also reduced GHG emissions substantially.
To date the Garden has installed new AC equipment and controls at the Watson Building, the Pratt Building, the Library Building, the Garden Terrace Room, and the Visitors Center. Every construction project from 2007 onward implements advanced controls and equipment to meet the requirements of PlaNYC. The Garden has shown significant reduction of GHG (up to 24%) and is a leader in the city to meet the goals of the plan.
More recently, a new Mayoral program—“One City Built to Last”—has been implemented with the goal of reducing up to 80% of GHG emissions by 2050. Subsequently, the Garden has found even more innovative applications of energy reduction programs and also received funding from the DEM ExCEL program.
Between 2015 and 2016, the Garden installed Permafrost©, a nanotechnology oil treatment for chillers that increases efficiency and thermal exchange, and Adsil©, another innovative product designed to reduce energy consumption and GHG emissions. The utilization of these two products is showing an approximate 25% reduction of energy usage without any major shut-down of equipment or construction of new equipment. Another new installation that has proven effective in our Plant Science Center is known as ELECTROchem©. This unit significantly reduces the amount of water needed in the building’s cooling tower, reduces chemical demand, assists in the reduction of bacteria build, and thus saves energy and GHG emissions.
The Garden has also received a Grant from the DEM/IDEA Program (Innovative Demonstrations for Energy Adaptability) to install HTF Nano Thermo Fluids©, another one-time additive to the water used in thermal application, at the Pfizer Building. Findings show that this additive can result in energy reduction of up to 15%.
Note: all new equipment and product installations require professional “Measurement and Verification” to ensure that the products meet the estimated goals for pay-back as set forth in the funding requirements. The Garden continues to search for new and innovative products and with the assistance of the staff (by reducing energy demand) is a leader in energy conservation in New York City.