Fresh Ideas for Boeing's Phantom Works Component
Robotic Paint Labs
Gerry Williams, PE, Burns & McDonnell
This project can be summed up using one word: Innovation. Innovation
assisted the engineers in using a heat recovery wheel for a paint
lab application when conventional wisdom indicated that the paint
would clog the wheel. Engineers overcame obstacles presented by
this application of the heat recovery wheel by using double exhaust
air stream filters and a laminar air flow design through the heat
wheel. Traditional supply air diffusers are designed for turbulent
mixing. This would disturb the air flow patterns entering the lab-hindering
painting and possibly creating unsafe conditions for the operators.
By replacing the diffusers with a large plenum with filters on the
bottom, the air was slowed down enough to discharge in a laminar
fashion and the air also had the added benefit of receiving final
filtration at the lab entrance.
Through the innovative use of existing
and new technologies, the project team of Boeing and Burns &
McDonnell was able to reduce the size of the central heating and
cooling equipment by half, generating savings of nearly a million
dollars for Boeing over the life of the equipment.
The results of
these energy savings can also be felt by everyone by reducing the
amounts of CO2, SO2, and NOX, which have been attributed to contributing
to global warming, acid rain, and smog. The innovative use of engineering
technology has resulted in significant savings for the client and
has allowed all of us to breathe a little easier.
The life cycle cost analysis that engineers at Burns & McDonnell
conducted indicated that by using total enthalpy heat recovery wheels,
over $800,000 could be saved over the life of the system. This resulted
in less than a three year return on investment for the added costs
of the heat recovery equipment. Additionally, the energy savings
of the heat recovery equipment resulted in optimizing the whole
building efficiency by decreasing the size of the steel piping support
structures and allowing an existing empty support building to be
used to house the new mechanical room instead of needing to build
an entirely new building for the boilers and chillers. This approach
contributed to protecting occupant safety by allowing the full air
changes required to create safe breathing environments, while at
the same time significantly reducing the amount of energy required
to heat and cool that air, and thus reduced the amount of environmental
pollutants that are created during the production of electricity.
This resulted in a cleaner environment for everyone.
Gerry Williams is a senior associate mechanical engineer in the
St. Louis, Missouri office of Burns & McDonnell. Mr. Williams
was one of the first 1000 engineers to receive LEED certification
and the primary LEED facilitator for Burns & McDonnell.
As a lead engineer on projects valued at more than one-half billion
dollars, Mr. Williams' portfolio includes more than 100 research
laboratories. Mr. Williams has several nationally published articles
including "Research Lab Profits from Low Overhead Expansion"
and "Blue Skies for Boeing" recently published in Engineered
Systems Magazine. Mr. Williams is currently responsible for writing
the new ASHRAE national standard for Forensic Laboratory design
to be published in the 2007 ASHRAE HVAC Applications manual. His
laboratory designs have received numerous awards including four
Outstanding Achievements in Engineering Awards by the American Society
of Heating, Refrigeration and Air-conditioning Engineers in St.
Louis. Mr. Williams serves on national ASHRAE committees for Justice
Facility Design and Sustainable Building Design.
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