7 steps to maximize central plant efficiency; get savings up to 60%

Central plant optimization is a process with seven key steps, and when implemented holistically, central plant optimization can deliver sustained energy savings of up to 60%, according to a Johnson Controls white paper.


Central plant optimization isn’t a silver-bullet algorithm, application, or energy-efficient component. It’s a process with seven key steps, and when implemented holistically, central plant optimization can deliver sustained energy savings of up to 60%, according to "Seven Steps to Maximizing Central Plant Efficiency," a Johnson Controls white paper by David Klee, director, channel marketing and strategy, HVAC, Johnson Controls Inc., and Gary Gigot, vice president business development, Optimum Energy LLC.

Sample CPO 30 dashboard screens for operating cost differential and operating efficiency. Dashboards allows users to monitor plant performance and operating efficiency on a real-time basis. Source: Johnson ControlsThe seven steps are:

1. Design of system infrastructure – The foundation of any optimization plan is a well-designed system infrastructure that supports central plant efficiency.

2. Selection of components – The next step to achieving optimization is the smart selection of system components that will perform efficiently in real-world operating conditions.

3. Application of components – To achieve peak performance, the equipment must be applied and operated properly.

4. Automation of the system – Building automation systems (BAS) must be used to maximize efficiencies in plant operations.

5. Networked optimization software is the intelligent logic that holistically operates the plant in the most efficient manner.

6. Maintenance needs to be predictive, with ability to identify issues before they become problems.

For life – cycle efficiency, measure, verify, and manage performance data regularly as part of a continuous commissioning process.

7. Measurement, verification, and management represent the pinnacle of optimization. When real-time data is available via web-based tools anytime, anywhere, issues such as performance drift can be identifyed long before the degradation results in significant loss of efficiency or, worse, equipment failure.


System-level automation software - Johnson Controls launched the Central Plant Optimization system-level automation software, a holistic approach to designing, installing and operating, for maximum efficiency in chilled water plants.

Also see the Johnson Controls white paper, Seven Steps to Maximizing Central Plant Efficiency.

- Edited by Mark T. Hoske, CFE Media, Control Engineering, www.controleng.com

Visit Control Engineering’s Sustainable Engineering channel.

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