Owens Corning: Controls Upgrade on Process Cooling/HVAC System Optimizes Worker Comfort and Saves Energy

BACKGROUND

Owens Corning's Amarillo, Texas, and Jackson, Tennessee, facilities produce fiberglass reinforcements and are major users of electricity for both process and mechanical utility needs. An opportunity to upgrade both plants' HVAC control systems was identified through collaboration between the partner's energy engineering and capital delivery teams. The projects are part of a broader, ongoing program to automate Owens Corning's HVAC systems to reduce energy costs and free up technicians for other tasks such as preventive maintenance.

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SOLUTIONS

Owens Corning and a vendor worked together to design and implement a variable primary hydronic system for both projects that allows system flow to be varied according to the cooling load. This optimizes the temperature differential across the chillers, allowing them to operate at the most efficient point possible. The projects were started on January 2, 2020, and should be fully completed by Decemeber 31, 2020. 

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The installed equipment included:

  • An advanced control system; 
  • Temperature, pressure, and flow sensors, valves and the associated actuators; 
  • Variable frequency drives for system pumps and fans. 

The system optimizes the chillers, chilled water pumps, condenser water pumps, cooling towers, and temperature and humidity sensors so that they all work together automatically, delivering the required amount of cooling for the lowest possible energy cost.

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OTHER BENEFITS

The operator interface for the system allows viewing of key performance indicators, such as kW and kW/ton performance, for each piece of major equipment as well as the total system. In addition, a baseline vs. projected vs. actual graph shows energy performance relative to historical data and trending capabilities to provide an instant look at the long‐term view of system performance. This interface also allows the OC team to have a real-time dashboard to understand and identify energy waste and equipment problems.

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HVAC Use

Baseline - both systems combined (2019)
20,000 MWh/year
Expected - both systems combined (2020)
12,000 MWh/year

Energy Savings:

40%

HVAC Cost

Baseline - both systems combined (2019)
$875,000
Expected - both systems combined (2020)
$525,000

Cost Savings:

40%

Sector Type

Industrial

Location

Jackson, Tennessee

Project Size

100,000 square feet at each facility in Jackson, Tennessee, and Amarillo, Texas

Financial Overview

$1,000,000 combined for both projects

HVAC System Energy Dashboard
HVAC System Energy Dashboard