HARBEC, a manufacturer of tightly toleranced plastic and metal components, is committed to sustainable operations. Founded in 1977, the Ontario, New York-based company has embraced a number of conservation practices, including the installation of its Combined Heat and Power (CHP) cogeneration plant in 2001, the installation of wind turbines in 2002 and 2013, and a facility-wide LED lighting upgrade in 2014. Today, the CHP plant and wind turbines generate more than half the electricity needed to power the company’s operations; exhaust heat from the plant is used to heat and cool the facility. From its management offices to the production floor, a culture of environmental responsibility permeates the company, which serves the aerospace, defense, security, medical, telecommunications, transportation and sports/leisure industries.
In 2012, HARBEC management set a goal of achieving ISO 50001 SEP certification in order to achieve carbon neutrality the following year. That decision would mandate the collection of precise resource consumption and energy usage data – a task that would require the expanded use of its Automated Logic WebCTRL system.
The task presented a new challenge for HARBEC’s WebCTRL system,“not from an automation standpoint, but from a monitoring and measuring standpoint,” commented Jeff Eisenhauer, manager, energy systems, HARBEC. The project began with the company’s acquisition of metering devices sourced through Logical Control Solutions, Inc., its longtime building automation technology provider, which installed the WebCTRL system in 2001. In 2012, Logical Control Solutions installed sub-metering systems on all electrical generation and major energy-consuming equipment, including the Capstone® microturbines within its CHP plant; the Carrier® air handling units and absorption chillers; and the two on-site wind turbines. Reporting capabilities were then integrated into the WebCTRL system.
The WebCTRL system now documents the plant’s use of compressed air, natural gas, hot and chilled water as well as all city water consumption points throughout the facility. HARBEC is using the system’s EnergyReports™ application, with its extensive trending capabilities, to track energy usage at the equipment level, allowing plant staff to monitor performance and maintain established benchmarks. Reflecting its commitment to accountable and sustainable operations, the company even provides real-time public access to its energy usage data through its web site (www.harbec.com). With reporting options available in 3D bar, line, pie chart and tabular formats, data is easily viewable, according to Keith Laszek, LEED® AP BD+C, Logical Control Solutions Project Manager.
The integration of the WebCTRL® system’s reporting capabilities was “a very low cost operational change. We pay close attention to how we run the plant to make sure it operates as efficiently as possible,” added HARBEC’s Eisenhauer.
In the year following the 2012 WebCTRL system upgrades, benefits proved to be dramatic. By increasing its operational efficiencies, primarily within the cogeneration plant, HARBEC:
- Increased the overall efficiency of its HVAC systems
- Reduced natural gas consumption by 20 percent
- Reduced overall greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent (calculated at 375 tons of CO2)
- Reduced utility costs by 14 percent
By exceeding 15 percent energy savings over the entire reporting period (2009-13), HARBEC was designated a SEP Platinum Certified Partner. With its on-site 850,000-gallon pond, the company is working to achieve water neutrality by 2015.
HARBEC reinvests the energy it generates by routing 180°F water from its cogeneration plant to tenants in the company’s outbuildings; the water serves as a heat source for powering their air handling units. Bruce Keeley, P.E., LEED BD+C, Principal at EC4B Engineering, remarked that the underground piping and connection systems to the buildings were installed beginning in 2009, with final connections made in 2012.
“We export electricity and water to our tenants, guaranteeing them a lower rate. Logical Control Solutions metered both hot and chilled water and even developed a billing template for them,” concluded Eisenhauer.
|Controls Contractor:||Logical Control Solutions, Inc.|
|Building Size:||50,000 square feet|
|Objectives:||Collect sufficient operating data for ISO certification and achieve carbon neutrality|
|Design Considerations:||Integration of reporting capabilities with existing building automation system|
|Major Decision Drivers:||Existing system, long-term relationships with building automation and mechanical engineering firms|
|HVAC Controls:||Automated Logic's WebCTRL|
|Installation Date:||September 2012|
|The Challenge:||Attain ISO 50001 Superior Energy Performance (SEP) certification to achieve carbon neutrality by 2013
Increase real-time collection of resource consumption and energy usage data
Integrate monitoring and measurement functions into existing WebCTRL® building automation system