Jim Crockett

Track E: Commissioning
Wed/PM 3:00 PM - 3:30 PM
Lead Energy Engineer
United States
What Data from 3 Years of Analytics on 80+ Chillers Taught Us About Chiller Failures

Despite chillers being the single biggest energy consumer in most buildings, very few are monitored. Is chiller monitoring and analytics worth the cost? To answer this question, we installed monitoring equipment on a large fleet of chillers, which we have analyzed and documented for almost 3 years and counting. Examples of findings include that the efficiency of a chiller fleet degrades by an average of about 5% per year. This does not mean that each chiller will drift by 5% per year; instead, it means that, for example, 1 in 4 chillers will develop an undetected issue that causes performance to worsen by 20%. (Our analysis is still in progress, and more specific numbers will be presented.) Some of the most common problems include low refrigerant charge, malfunctioning inlet guide vanes, and surge map issues. Although each of these issues carries a potentially serious energy penalty, they are very rarely detected without chiller monitoring and analytics.

Jim Crockett, PE, joined Bernhard in 2018 with 25 years of experience in the HVAC industry in general, and 15 years specializing in energy efficiency. At Bernhard, Jim has been the lead engineer on HVAC Energy Efficiency projects around the world and has provided technical guidance in support of Bernhard's engineering staff and Monitoring-Based Commissioning program. Jim holds a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the Brigham Young University and an MBA with Finance Concentration from Southern Methodist University. He is a registered Professional Engineer in AZ, CA, FL, ID, KS, MT, NM, TX, UT, and WA. Jim is the recipient of the 2021 AEE Region V Engineer of the Year Award.

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