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Energy Savings, Stat

How does the largest free-standing pediatric hospital in the world increase its footprint by 47 percent yet hold the increase in energy spend to 30 percent?Texas Children.jpg

Skip Milton of the Texas Children’s Hospital discussed how Honeywell Enterprise Buildings Integrator (EBI) is helping identify and address sources of energy waste.

With 270 beds, and supporting resources and equipment, the hospital is an extremely energy-intensive operation. So keeping a close eye on and responding to even the slightest spike in energy use can help keep costs in check. That’s why dashboards are essential to Milton and his staff. Every major piece of equipment in the facility is connected to an EBI-powered dashboard that alerts the team to deviations in consumption and other adverse trends.

Milton highlighted one example where a faulty control valve in the hospital’s energy plant was throwing the HVAC system off, leading to excessive energy use. “The heat exchangers weren’t responding and we watched the energy use trend lines going crazy,” he said. “This was a situation where we had to track down the defective valve immediately.”

Milton’s tips for finding the energy wasters in your building and controlling costs:

  • Run daily reports to identify changes in temperature set points and schedules. Quickly attending to these outliers helps keep the baseline steady.
  • Don’t let performance slide. Optimize control loops by taking care of equipment that is not performing to its full capacity.
  • Calibrate control system sensors. “If you aren’t doing this every 12 months, your system is not being monitored and controlled properly,” Milton said. “This can mean thousands of dollars.”
  • Use your eyes and feet. “Verify what you are seeing on screen,” Milton said. “If you something is off and manipulating it doesn’t resolve the problem, get boots on the ground and check it out.”