When one of the chillers failed at its three-story North American headquarters, Mercedez-Benz USA took action to enhance the comfort of its employees. MBUSA facility managers sought new technologies that would provide reliability, a long service life and energy savings. The company wished to act quickly to minimize dollars spent for temporary rental equipment.
The forty-year-old chillers at the headquarters facility had a full-load efficiency rating of approximately 1.0 kW/ton. The aging systems were replaced with two 290-ton Trane water-cooled hermetic CenTraVac™ centrifugal chillers. New chiller, condenser and swing pumps, and a cooling tower were installed. The ventilation systems were also redesigned to meet ASHRAE 15 standards for safety.
Variable frequency drives (VFDs) replaced the constant flow drives on the chillers. Efficiency upgrades also included the replacement of the single speed fan cooling tower with a VFD fan speed controlled tower.
A Trane Tracer Summit® building automation system (BAS) was installed to optimize the performance and energy usage of the chiller plant, and ensure the comfort of employees. Facilities managers employ chiller tower optimization through the use of the Trane Tracer Summit Chiller Plant Manager™ system, sequencing chiller set points to reduce energy consumption.
Mercedes-Benz received a $78,000 Smart Buildings energy rebate from the State of New Jersey for infrastructure upgrades at its North American headquarters facility. And while energy savings was not the driving force, the company saw an immediate and significant drop in its energy demand. The upgrades also improved system reliability and occupant comfort.