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Energy saving project in thermal power plants

centrales térmicas

Let's know the details of an energy consumption optimization project carried out in the thermal power plant of a renowned hotel in Santiago de Chile.

by ACR Latin America

The Mandarin Oriental Hotel, Santiago, in Chile is one of the most iconic buildings in the city, embarking on a comprehensive renovation to become the first Mandarin Oriental in South America. This space has been recognized as a benchmark in the capital city, offering rooms and facilities renovated with the latest technology.

It is the only hotel in town with lush gardens and the largest lagoon-style pool that features a waterfall. Located in the heart of the city, with beautiful views of the Andes Mountains to the east and Cerro San Cristobal to the west, the hotel will be the first true luxury hotel in the city.

- Publicidad -

In 2018, a project to optimize energy consumption was carried out in the existing thermal power plant that operates for the systems that supply domestic hot water and heating throughout the hotel. This project was carried out by the firm Energy Tracking, specialists in energy efficiency in Chile that since 2007 provide patented technology, technical advice, design and implementation of projects and ESCO contracts, among several services.

As a context it is important to highlight that the existing thermal power plant had a standard installation with technology from the 90s, and prior to the intervention of this success story there was only one replacement of boilers in the year 2000 from diesel burner to natural gas.

On the implementation of this project, Hermes Silva, General Manager/Technician, of the firm explained that "it consisted of the elimination of DHW accumulators by ultra-efficient real-time heating systems of DHW (CTR) owned by Energy Tracking, the above completed by a real-time thermal energy management system called HeatGuard, owned by Energy Tracking, which also considers variable frequency drives (VDFs) for existing heating pumps."

The HeatGuard system takes control of the entire thermal power plant and regulates the CTRs, boilers and VDFs to supply the DHW and ACC with lower energy consumption, without lowering the hotel's comfort level.

On the operating process of this ultra-efficient system, Hermes commented that "the HeatGuard system dynamically controls all the equipment installed in the thermal power plant (boilers, recirculation pumps) measures all temperatures in real time and manages the thermal transfer and generation in a dynamic way, the integration is systemic, and this allows the reduction of spaces (m2) in more than 70% of a traditional thermal power plant by not using thermal tanks accumulation, and having the CTR as the only element of thermal transfer".

Another positive aspect of the installation of this technology is that it has the power to integrate into the existing or any other equipment (it is configurable), it can also be connected to SCADA or BMS type supervision systems.

- Publicidad -

Regarding whether there were some technical difficulties during the installation process, Hermes Silva said no, because there were enough spaces for the installation of CTR and HeatGuard equipment, but there were challenges during the project: "The only complicated stage was the interconnection with the heating and DHW networks, since this implied cuts in the service, which was done coordinated with the client without causing major inconveniences. Our average heatguard assembly time is five days and for the ten-day CTR, in this case it was fifteen days, as it was three CTRs."

Results and customer satisfaction
Before presenting the results, Hermes shared a little about how the negotiation process was with the client for the implementation of the project, since in principle there were certain difficulties that took time. In the end, the methodology of the measurement and verification of savings (M&V) was agreed, as well as the guarantees of the project.

This project won the 1st place of the "Technology Awards" in the category "Commercial exisiting buildings", delivered at the ASHRAE 2022 in Las Vegas. Hermes Silva (left), General/Technical Manager, and Leandro Astorga, HVAC Deputy Manager of Energy Tracking and President of the ASHRAE Chile Chapter, received the recognition.

"In this case, the IPMVP protocol was used for the M&V, with the Retscreen tool that ensures a measurement under international and auditable protocol, and for the guarantees, the payments of the project investment were made against results, that is, every X months the savings had to be validated and if the guaranteed minimum was met, a part of the project was paid, otherwise there was no payment, which was fulfilled without problems. This was decisive for the implementation and customer confidence, today the model operating for more than 2 years is still successful and meeting the guaranteed savings".

There are many benefits that this project has brought to the Mandarin Oriental Hotel, Santiago, since it gained both in energy savings (more than 40% of annual savings), the thermal system was reduced in size (elimination of 6 accumulators of 10,000 lts) which decreased the operational cost (maintenance); It automated the thermal processes, which simplified the operation and management of the plant and gave it better thermal comfort as it is a more stable system in the delivery of temperatures.

Now the challenge, in the near future for Energy Tracking, is to incorporate the HeatGuard in cooling systems (air conditioning), where they expect to achieve results similar to those of DHW and heating.

- Publicidad -

Project information
* Project: Optimization of energy consumption in thermal power plant
* Company or place covered with the installation: Hotel Mandarin Oriental Santiago
* Installation signature: Energy Tracking
* Manufacturers involved: Energy Tracking - HeatGuard Technology
* Installation dates: 2018

Duván Chaverra Agudelo
Author: Duván Chaverra Agudelo
Jefe Editorial en Latin Press, Inc,.
Comunicador Social y Periodista con experiencia de más de 16 años en medios de comunicación. Apasionado por la tecnología y por esta industria.

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