Brady Blog- Trends and Talk

Increasing the Effectiveness Of A Water Treatment Program

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

The goal of a good water treatment program should be to ensure that the water has constant contact with heat exchange surfaces and is free of biological fouling. Biological growth, scale deposition, and corrosion can force equipment to work harder because of reduced ability of the water to contact these surfaces. In order to increase the effectiveness of a water treatment plan, water treatment professionals recommend a dual alternating biocide program.

Oxidizing Biocides

Biocides are chemicals used to eliminate bacteria and algae found in cooling towers and other recirculating cooling systems. All biocides can be divided into two major classes- oxidizing and non-oxidizing. Each type of biocide approaches biological organisms in a different way.

Oxidizing biocides take a “shot gun” approach to destroying bacteria and biological growth. These biocides attack the cell structure of the organism to destroy the cell and ultimately kill the organism. Oxidizing biocides are effective because of the speed and nature of their approach and organisms are unable to build up a resistance to the chemicals used to treat the water.

However, there are a few drawbacks with the use of oxidizing biocides. These chemicals can increase the corrosiveness of water. Some oxidizing chemicals used in water treatment programs can also create undesirable byproducts that are bad for the environment.

All water treatment programs require consistent monitoring of water conditions and chemical levels. Oxidizing biocides can increase the need for observation because they can interact with other corrosion control chemicals used in the program, and render them less effective.

Non- Oxidizing Biocides

A non-oxidizing biocide attacks biological growth in a different way, by interrupting the organism’s metabolism, and effectively poisoning the cells to kill them. This class of biocides targets specific organisms and specific cellular processes, taking a “rifle” approach to treatment.

An added benefit of non-oxidizing biocides is that they can have little to no impact on other chemicals used to treat corrosion and scale. Unfortunately, due to the vast number of microorganisms that could exist in any recirculating cooling system, as a non-oxidizing biocide is used the organisms can become resistant to that particular chemical are not affected and continue to grow in the water and require the attention of a water treatment technician.

How Does A Dual Alternating Biocide Program Work?

Continuous use of one single biocide in a water treatment program can lead to resistant flora and damaging conditions in the water, making a dual alternating approach ideal to control the biological growth. In a dual alternating biocide program, both oxidizing and non-oxidizing biocides are fed into the system on an alternating slug dosage based off of the continued monitoring of water conditions. Often times, to increase the effectiveness of non-oxidizing biocides, a dispersant is added to loosen and penetrate bio-films attached to metal surfaces in a system which allows the biocide to be more effective.

If you are interested in learning more about a dual alternating biocide program and how it can improve water conditions in your facility’s cooling system, visit bradyservices.com/services or call (800) 849-1915.


Benefits of a Water Treatment Program

Friday, January 27, 2017

As a facility owner, you know that water plays a vital role in heating and cooling systems and process manufacturing. But, did you know that managing the quality of the water used in these systems is equally important? A water treatment program can help ensure your equipment continues to operate efficiently and safely for years to come.

Energy Efficiency

When the water used in cooling towers, air washers, steam boilers, and associated closed loop systems is left untreated, the results can be excessive microbiological growth, scaling, and corrosion in the equipment. This fouling creates a barrier on heat exchange services of your equipment that can interfere with the water’s ability to exchange heat, forcing the systems to work harder and increasing your facility’s energy costs.

Protecting Your Equipment

Corrosion can lead to irreversible damage of your equipment. It can cause pitting and rust that may bore holes and weaken the infrastructure.A water treatment technician will examine the equipment to determine the cause of corrosion and will treat the water to alleviate the issue. The technician will then monitor the corrosion rate to ensure it stays within the industry standard.

Safety

Uncontrolled microbiological growth in heating and cooling systems can cultivate potentially dangerous bacteria, such as legionella. This waterborne bacterium thrives in water between 75° and 115° and can be protected in a biofilm, making cooling towers ideal for growing the bacteria. Regular bacteria tests and treating the water can help ensure your facility does not develop or spread legionella.

To learn more about Brady’s water treatment program, and how it can help your facility, visit: bradyservices.com/services.html

 

 


Why is a Seasonal Preventative Maintenance Routine Necessary In The Boiler Room?

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Cooler months can put greater demands on your boiler room equipment, and as a plant operator, the change in seasons can be a helpful reminder to review boiler room efficiency and safety. A seasonal preventative maintenance routine can help ensure that your boilers are ready to handle the demand when temperatures drop.

Efficiency

The change in season is a good reminder that it’s time to perform a combustion analysis on your boiler. This verifies your air to fuel ratio is correct and helps ensure you are burning your fuels as efficiently as possible. When air temperatures change, the density of that air changes as well causing the fuel to air ratio to change leading to incomplete combustion, higher emissions, and unburned fuel going out your stack. It’s recommended that you perform a combustion analysis and have the system calibrated by a trained professional twice a year.

General Maintenance

Autumn is also the time to address the general maintenance in your boiler room. Regular maintenance now can help avoid thousands of dollars in damages and unexpected downtime later. A professional water treatment program will ensure your heat transfer surfaces are protected from scale build up and corrosion and ensure your system is operating as efficiently as possible.

If your boiler uses two fuel sources, are you prepared to make the switch from gas to oil? Checking your fuel oil pump, strainer and burner nozzle will ensure a trouble free start up when changing over to oil is necessary. This is also the time to make sure your fuel tank is full and ready for the switch.

A visual inspection of your boiler, feed-water or deaerator system should also be included when preparing for the fall. Finding small issues such as minor leaks on piping, valves and shells, or signs of electrical overheating can help prevent them from becoming larger problems. You should also be sure to check the gas regulator vents for insect nests that may have been built over the summer and inspect bird and insect screens on your air intake louvers for debris to ensure you are getting the proper amount of combustion air needed for your systems to function properly.

Safety

The change in temperature is also a good time for boiler safety device testing; recommended tests include, low water cutoff and flame failure detection devices. These safeties ensure adequate water levels in your boiler are maintained and shut the fuel system down if a low water event is detected. Other devices that should be checked by trained technicians include; airflow switches, operating or limit switches for pressure or temperature, and low / high gas pressure switches.

Performing a seasonal preventative maintenance routine can help ensure that your facility is ready to not only meet its demands as the temperature drops, but to do so safely and efficiently. If you’d like to learn more about Brady’s heating solutions and how they can benefit your facility, visit: http://www.bradyservices.com/brady-heating-solutions.html

 


Understanding the EarthWise design philosophy to improve building performance

Thursday, March 10, 2016

One of the goals of many building owners is to have an efficient and well run building that contributes to the overall business mission. They are concerned with life costs and system performance of one of the largest capital assets, the building’s HVAC system.

The Benefits of an EarthWise Design Approach

EarthWise systems are sustainable systems that deliver measureable, superior performance at a lower operating cost. An EarthWise system performs at the highest levels of energy efficiency, reduces emissions of all types to the lowest possible level, and has a documented, sustainable performance.

EarthWise system design allows an owner to utilize today’s efficient equipment designed to operate seamlessly within the HVAC system. The increased efficiency of refrigeration systems allows an owner to optimize air and water flows and lower pump and energy fan use. By optimizing the system flow owners can reduce the size of fans, piping, pumps and ductwork resulting in a lowered first cost for the project.

In addition to adding the obvious, more efficient, equipment like Trane’s CenTraVac chiller, owners can utilize new products like CDQ (Cool Dry Quiet), plenum fans, thermal storage, wireless zone systems and parallel fan powered VAV boxes.

The addition of new flexible, prepackaged control systems with intuitive interfaces allow owners to increase sustainability of the system by using proven, optimized control sequences. Interactive dashboards remove the mystery from system operation and allow building managers to document building performance and energy savings.

Exciting things are happening in the world of system design. Learn more about Trane’s EarthWise Ice-enhanced Chiller Plant or Trane’s EarthWise Variable Air Systems.


Confused about Performance Contracting?

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Confused about Performance Contracting? Don't let common myths mislead you about the real benefits of implementing a Performance Contract. While a Performance Contract will result in significant energy savings without additional appropriation of tax dollars, it is a construction project. Choosing an experienced professional can make your project implementation successful. Energy Savings

“Performance contracting sounds too good to be true”

Performance Contracting (PC), when executed by a reputable firm will save money and significantly enhance the indoor environmental quality of your facilities. PC is the only contracting vehicle available that can be guaranteed to deliver both energy efficiency and badly needed mechanical infrastructure with no additional county appropriations, bond issuance, or county tax increase required.

“We don’t have any funds for projects like this”

Each governmental unit in North Carolina is allowed to borrow the funds directly from a finance institution as enabled by NC G.S.: 142-64. This is a major advantage of PC; no additional state, local appropriations or private dollars are required. The Energy Services Company (ESCO) you choose  will assist in arranging the project’s financing that will be paid back with the guaranteed energy savings realized from the new systems and equipment. The Performance Contract and the finance agreement terms are customized to meet your needs and finance terms usually range from 10 to 15 years.

“We can’t afford to risk losing any money”

The customer is the real winner since a performance contract guarantees the amount of the project’s energy savings. The ESCO will write a check for any energy savings shortfalls as defined in the contract.

“We don’t know how to get started”

Energy Service Companies can assist in getting organized for the RFP process. You may also contact the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality Utility Savings Initiative for additional assistance.

“What we really need is some new, modern, efficient equipment”

New, efficient equipment is one of the main benefits provided by PC. Any new equipment that is provided as part of the project is paid for over time with the guaranteed energy savings, not additional state or county appropriations. Often this is equipment that the customer could not afford to purchase due to lack of capital funds.

“Our maintenance staff can do all this work. We don’t need to hire an outside contractor and borrow the money”

Most in-house staffs don’t have the time or money to properly implement a comprehensive energy efficiency systems retrofit. Additionally, delaying the decision to implement a Performance Contract almost always costs more than any construction savings that might be realized by executing an in-house program. The cost of project delay is usually much higher than the cost of financing. None of the wasted energy dollars spent during a project delay can be recovered once they are spent.

“Energy service companies do not keep their promises”

Selecting an experienced professional is an important aspect of a PC. Their associates will spend hundreds of hours preparing estimates and proposals that are based on sound engineering and industry best practices. In the unlikely event that the annual guaranteed energy savings are not achieved, the ESCO will write a check for the difference per the terms of the contract.

“Energy service companies keep too much of the savings”

Some energy savings contracts consist of very basic “behavior modification” training and other methods. These programs claim to be “risk free” as fees are not paid to the vendor unless savings are achieved. These vendors then keep up to 40% of their calculated savings and the customers are locked in to a contract for up to four years. This can cost the customer hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars! Under a Performance Contract, the customer keeps 100% of the savings which are used to invest in the new equipment provided under the Performance Contract.

“Does the State of North Carolina support the PC process?”

Over the past several sessions, the North Carolina legislature has shown its strong support for PC by raising the cap on loans for state government Performance Contracts from zero to $50 million to $100 million and then to the current $500 million limit. Today’s PC is better and more refined than those contracts from several years ago. The PC process has undergone significant improvements and delivers real tangible and verifiable savings to state and local governmental units across North Carolina. All PC requires a performance guarantee and can only be delivered by NC Pre-Certified Energy Service Companies (ESCOs). Not only are the public Performance Contracts in NC guaranteed, these guarantees must be backed by financial instruments that are “investment grade” and all Performance Contracts are approved by the North Carolina Local Government Commission.