• Washington Research Library Consortium

    WRLC’s energy usage for their collection facilities’ AHUs was 2-3 times higher than expected. Baumann Consulting studied WRLC’s AHU and desiccant wheels to identify strategies to save the facility 40% of its overall energy usage, equating to more than $100,000 in savings per year.

Washington Research Library Consortium

The Washington Research Library Consortium (WRLC) is a group of 9 partner universities in the DC area that share library resources to better serve their students and faculty.

In January 2015, WRLC installed an air handling unit (AHU) in their newly constructed Shared Collections Facility 3 (AHU2) and in Shared Collections Facility 2 (AHU1). The units are designed to maintain a steady space temperature of 60° F at 40% relative humidity.

Over the course of a year, AHU1 and 2 combined showed an energy usage of up to 2-3 times higher than predicted by the design team. Both AHU1 and 2 use desiccant wheels, electric heating coils, and chilled water coils to achieve the strict temperature and humidity requirements.

Baumann was able to significantly reduce the energy demand while meeting the performance requirements without changes to the set up of the AHUs by:

  • Modeling and calibrating the AHUs using one year of real energy consumption data
  • Identifying control solutions to reduce excessive energy use through simulation diagnostic
  • Revising, implementing and testing new sequence of operation
  • Achieving an average of 44% reduction in total energy usage by reduced use of electrical reheat and chilled water coils

The payback for our services for this project was less than three months. Baumann saved the facility 44% of its overall energy usage, more than $100,000 in cost savings per year.

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