Energy Conservation in Biocontainment Laboratories
Wade H. Conlan, P.E., LEED®
AP, Earl Walls Associates
Laboratory air handling systems are traditionally
all outside air based and consume more energy than recirculation
type systems found in office buildings. There are opportunities
in biocontainment laboratories where significant reductions in energy
savings can be realizedeven to the point that 100 percent
outside air systems use less energy than recirculation systems with
only 20 percent outside air.
Biocontainment facilities are great candidates for air-to-air energy
recovery techniques due to the fact that the air is HEPA filtered
and there is very little chemical load in the exhaust air stream.
Combining multiple proven air-to-air and air-to-water heat recovery
technologies in new application techniques, the audience will learn
how these laboratories can operate at energy costs at a fraction
of current industry benchmarks.
These savings are achievable without compromise to the indoor environmental
quality expectations for new facilities. Utilizing gaseous monitoring
systems, reductions in supply and exhaust air quantities can be
realized in a demand controlled ventilation strategy, resulting
in more energy savings.
Additional heat recovery opportunities that exist on the water
side as it relates to chiller condensing temperatures and kW/ton
performance will be identified.
A presentation of two similar sites, one with 100 percent outside
air and one with 20 percent outside air will be presented. Metrics
such as first cost, fossil fuel, and electric consumption as well
as operating and maintenance costs will be illustrated. And finally,
the geographical impact of locating this system in varied weather
patterns across the United States will be identified.
The attributes associated with the approaches outlined in this
presentation will illustrate significant reductions in energy cost
coupled with a reduction in first cost. Typical energy cost reductions
in the past have required the need for life cycle costing to justify
the expenditure of funds over and above the basic or traditional
systems that are customarily designed for these facilities.
This presentation will cover each of the current energy saving
techniques individually to gain understanding by the audience, and
then put those pieces together to show the entire system. The intent
is to not only talk about the system as a "potential,"
but to truly show value by using actual hard data (psychrometric
points and dollars) to support the concepts. I will be presenting
data that should be resetting the benchmark for the operational
costs of laboratories, and also indicating the potential for more
than one geographical area of the country.
Wade H. Conlan, P.E., LEED AP, is the Director of Engineering
at Earl Walls Associates located in Maitland, Florida, and is a
1995 graduate of Penn State with a Bachelor of Science degree in
His project engineering experience includes complex systems for
laboratories, hospitals, educational facilities, and others. His
responsibilities include applying all aspects of HVAC and lab plumbing
engineering to projects as well as leading in-house staff development
training. Based upon his extensive energy conservation related experience,
he is the co-leader of GRG's Sustainable Design Group.
Wade presented "Weighing the Pig vs. Making it Fly" at
the 2005 Labs21 conference in Portland, OR, as well as "Retro-Commissioning:
Is this the next "big thing" in our industry? Concrete
Results from the Field" for the BCA Webcast on December 13th,
2005. Wade has previously spoken at The American Aquarium and Zoological
Association regarding commissioning and HVAC design. The American
Society of Heating and Refrigeration Engineers (ASHRAE) awarded
Wade the Society level Milton W Garland Refrigeration Award for
Project Excellence in 2004 in addition to Region XII Technical Project
Awards as well as being named the Central Florida Chapter's Young
Engineer of the Year Award in 2004.
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