Objective: Retrofit Magnetic Levitation, Oil-Less Centrifugal Compressors with BITZER Screw Compressors.
Location: Olen Properties Corp Office Building – 4910 Birch Street, Newport Beach, CA.
BITZER Dealer: ACCO Engineering Systems
Having upgraded an R22 direct expansion system with two magnetic levitation oil-less centrifugal compressors a few years earlier, ACCO Engineered Systems was confronted with a decision as to how to correct performance issues at the Olen Properties Building in Newport Beach, California. According to William Brown, P.E., CEM, Chief Systems Engineer at ACCO, this particular compressor system suffered reliability issues that adversely impacted the thermal comfort of the building’s tenants.
ACCO’s challenge was to find an alternate R22 compressor that would provide reliable air-conditioning to the building and still minimize compressor power consumption. Bill Brown consulted his colleague, Jacob Coble, CEM, ACCO’s Service Sales Manager, who had run energy comparisons between oil-less, centrifugal compressor models and Screw Compressors manufactured by Hanbell™ and BITZER. To their surprise, a BITZER CSW screw compressor provides full load and part load efficiencies comparable to the oil-less, centrifugal compressors.
Bill Brown consulted his colleague, Jacob Coble, CEM, ACCO’s Service Sales Manager, who had run energy comparisons between oil-less, centrifugal compressor models and Screw Compressors manufactured by Hanbell™ and BITZER. To their surprise, a BITZER CSW screw compressor provides full load and part load efficiencies comparable to the oil-less, centrifugal compressors. Bill contacted BITZER’s lead Screw Application Engineer, Dave Streby, at BITZER’s Atlanta area manufacturing plant to request factory support for this retrofit conversion. As Dave had already consulted on replacing other oil-less, centrifugal compressors, he was able to outline the various changes to anticipate on this conversion.
Of course, Screws are heavier than oil-less, centrifugal models, so ACCO had to plan for a crane to lift the Screws to the rooftop penthouse. Dave also recommended that Bill go with the infinite capacity option rather than 4-Step capacity. Though BITZER offered a controller for the Screw, ACCO elected to develop their own compressor control logic program using the existing Automated Logic™ BMS controls system.
John Delmatoff, ACCO’s lead chiller technician, had installed many oil-less, centrifugal and Hanbell™ compressors prior to this job, but this was his first experience with BITZER. “BITZER’s engineering support and documentation was fantastic,” he said for this interview, “and I can’t believe how quiet the BITZER Screw operates compared to a Hanbell™. It’s nearly as quiet as the oil-less, centrifugal compressor.”
When asked how the installation and commissioning went, John said it was basically “plug and play.” He didn’t have to spend days load balancing or tweaking the complex electronics, and the compressors pulled the building temperature down quickly. BITZER’s Regional Sales Manager, Steve Esslinger, even stopped by to support the start-up. “You can’t beat the engineering support that BITZER offers,” John added.
Asked what additional take-aways he had from this installation, John said, “being able to solve a customer’s A/C problem with a much less expensive, positive displacement Screw without sacrificing power consumption is a win-win.”
Based on the results of this job, ACCO is also preparing to commission two BITZER screw compressors at the United Talent Agency Plaza in Beverly Hills, which qualified for a substantial Southern California Edison Customized Solutions energy rebate.