Commercial Water: Energy-Efficient Retrofit

Jan. 7, 2016
Pumps aid in New York housing complex’s energy efficiency makeover

About the author: Josh Allen is strategy and business planning manager for Xylem Inc. Allen can be reached at [email protected] or 315.276.8636.

When the Twin Parks housing development was built in the Bronx, New York City, in the 1970s, it was hailed for its architectural innovation and promise for urban renewal. Forty years later, as buildings in the scattered-site complex are updated one by one, Twin Parks is again being recognized for innovation, this time for its focus on energy efficiency. 

Twin Parks was developed by the New York State Urban Development Corp. in the late 1960s as a new kind of housing development that emphasized connection to existing neighborhood public spaces. Six different architects designed a total of 2,000 housing units on 12 vacant lots, integrating high-rise structures into midrise neighborhoods. The buildings exist today as privately owned income-restricted, moderate-income rental housing. 

Energy-Efficient Pumping

Bell & Gossett pumps are integral to the retrofit of the first of the buildings, with Series 80 ITSC vertical inline pumps selected for the transition from electric heating to hydronic distribution. ITSC stands for integrated technologic with sensor-less control, a feature that combines sensor-less technology with the energy savings of variable flow. 

The ITSC technology is made possible via two principles of variable-flow systems. The first is the universal application of affinity laws to centrifugal pumps. This enables the ITSC to model pump performance accurately. Also essential to sensor-less control is the ability of variable-speed drives to accurately measure and control a motor’s speed and torque. By integrating both of these elements, the ITSC supports variable-flow hydronic systems without the need to mount, install and wire a separate variable-frequency drive on a wall or a wired transducer across the load furthest from the pump.

Installation & Startup

Bell & Gossett representative Wallace Eannace Associates Inc. of Plainview, N.Y., worked with contractor Platinum Energy Group on large system upgrades to seven Twin Parks apartment buildings, retrofitting boiler rooms with new equipment. 

“We chose the Series 80 because its custom configuration options enabled us to use it in boiler rooms that were very tight on space [and] in a larger boiler room the size of a dance floor,” said Bob Demarco, vice president of operations for Platinum Energy Group. “We laid out the whole job with ITSC prepackaged products, which resulted in faster, easier installation than using separate controls.” 

Another feature that lent to easier installation is the pumps’ proprietary mounting flange-—installers do not need to use an additional fabricated steel base. Matt Spink, national service manager for Platinum Energy Group, noted this labor-saving design feature and the simple startup due to the pre-programmed parameters built into the drive. 

According to company representatives, the ITSC is mounted and configured in the factory by trained technicians. The pumps also are fully tested and optimized under load in the company’s advanced pump testing facility. 

The pumps’ sensor-less technology incorporates a variable-speed drive, which will come into play in Phase II, as the systems initially were set up without control valves. To allow for this, Bell & Gossett used a modified curve with the ITSC to fine tune the systems for lower horsepower. The controllers react to system demands by varying speed, reducing electrical costs compared to full-speed operation and keeping the systems in full compliance with ASHRAE Standard 90.1. 

Award-Winning Projects

One of the buildings that received system and aesthetic upgrades was selected as a 2014 Ebie Award finalist by the Urban Green Council, which recognizes improved environmental performance in existing buildings. More projects are in the works-—planners intend to replicate this Phase I process in the rest of the buildings in the complex.

Download: Here

About the Author

Josh Allen

Sponsored Recommendations

ArmorBlock 5000: Boost Automation Efficiency

April 25, 2024
Discover the transformative benefits of leveraging a scalable On-Machine I/O to improve flexibility, enhance reliability and streamline operations.

Rising Cyber Threats and the Impact on Risk and Resiliency Operations

April 25, 2024
The world of manufacturing is changing, and Generative AI is one of the many change agents. The 2024 State of Smart Manufacturing Report takes a deep dive into how Generative ...

State of Smart Manufacturing Report Series

April 25, 2024
The world of manufacturing is changing, and Generative AI is one of the many change agents. The 2024 State of Smart Manufacturing Report takes a deep dive into how Generative ...

SmartSights WIN-911 Alarm Notification Software Enables Faster Response

March 15, 2024
Alarm notification software enables faster response for customers, keeping production on track