Overcoming Challenges in Commercial HVAC Chiller Installation

Electric chillers present many benefits over traditional steam absorption chillers or other refrigerant-based systems. Typically, they feature higher COPs (coefficient of performance), lower initial equipment costs, a 50% savings in floor space, faster installation times, and reduced energy consumption for added cost savings.

Because of all these benefits, building owners all over NYC have been slowly making the switch to electric chillers for years. As an essential component of commercial HVAC systems, the decision to replace existing systems, and the process of installing a new electric chiller, can prove challenging.

Financial Aspects of Installing a New Commercial HVAC Chiller

When a building owner needs to install a new electric chiller, it’s vital to have a concrete understanding of expected cost savings from reduced energy consumption over time. Not only does this help develop a more accurate budget for the installation project, it also helps building owners get a more thorough understanding of their expected operating costs. Electric chillers will be a primary source of energy consumption and understanding their impact on building costs is essential for owners and managers.

Additionally, the fully understanding costs of installing an electric chiller, as well as the costs associated with downtime during installation, are an important consideration for building owners. Total installation costs must remain within a specified budget in order to justify the investment in the new chiller equipment and minimize the burden of this investment.

Operational Aspects of Commercial HVAC Chiller Installation

Boston Properties, one of the most prestigious developers, owners and managers in NYC class-A office space, recently had a building in need of new electric chillers. One major source of difficulty was in obtaining an accurate estimate for removal of an old steam absorption chiller and for installation of multiple electric chillers. The systems resided on the 13th floor, required extensive rigging of 900-ton and 2050-ton chillers, and involved reconfiguring ductwork and piping.

Further complicating problems was the fact that this building served a long list of premier tenants – extensive downtime had to be avoided at all costs. In the end, the numerous factors impacting costs were accurately identified and the highly complex installation project was executed according to plan, staying on-time and within budget.

To see exactly how this was done, read Donnelly Mechanical’s featured project on this electric chiller installation completed by the HVAC Construction Donnelly Division.

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