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Text | Building high-efficiency heating, cooling, and power-generating facilities from gas-fired and electrically driven subsystems | 001
FEDERAL ENERGY MANAGEMENT PROGRAM
Building high-efficiency heating, cooling, and power-generating facilities from gas-fired and electrically driven subsystems
Integrated systems bring together gas-fired and electrically driven equipment to provide heating, cooling, dehumidification, and electrical service to commercial and public buildings. The three principal configurations are (1) hybrid chiller plants incorporating gas-fired and electrically driven chillers, (2) desiccant dehumidifiers using waste heat from combustion of natural gas to regenerate the desiccant, and (3) combined heat- ing, cooling, and power systems that include on-site electrical power generation with heating and cooling space conditioning and potable hot water production.
Principal energy savings are achieved through the use of waste heat from a combustion process to provide hot water or steam for other pur- poses. Additional benefits derive from reducing or eliminating use and costs of peak load electric- ity. On-site power generation can provide an overall energy savings through the elimination of transmission and distribution losses; primary benefit of on-site power generation remains elimi- nation of utility peak demand charges and user control over power availability and reliability. Desiccant dehumidification using hydroscopic
materials can be a more efficient process to remove moisture than conventional technologies that rely on overcooling and reheating ventilation air.
A careful and rigorous analysis using hourly temperatures and loads is necessary in order to identify attractive applications of integrated systems. Circumstances can be favorable where there are high electric rates and low gas rates; special gas summertime or air-conditioning rates or rebates for installing gas air-conditioning equipment are helpful in achieving life-cycle cost savings.
There are several building types that can be attractive for integrated systems. These include buildings with high ventilation rates such as movie theaters and supermarkets because they have a much higher latent cooling load than most build- ings and benefit more from desiccant dehumidi- fication. Buildings with balanced electrical and thermal loads are attractive for on-site power gen- eration or hybrid chiller plants because waste heat can be used for heating or hot water. Hospitals and hotels are good examples of these applications.
Life-cycle cost analysis should include site-specific installation costs and system performance using local weather and building loads. The efficiency and capacity of on-site
power generation may degrade significantly with ambient tem- perature and altitude (some types
of generators are much more sensitive to conditions than others); expectations and predictions based on design con- ditions can be extremely misleading. Desiccant systems must be carefully engineered, installed, and commis-
sioned to avoid significant energy losses through increased fan and blower power
and motors for wheel rotation.
A publication series designed to speed the adoption of energy- efficient and renewable technologies in the Federal sector
Prepared by the New Technology Demonstration Program
Integrated systems offer improved building services and comfort.
No portion of this publi- cation may be altered
in any form without prior written consent from the U.S. Department of Energy and the authoring national laboratory.
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