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Millenium Energy Company is thrilled to announce that the Dearborn, MI, HVAC Infrastructure & Energy Initiative has been recognized for new energy efficiency technologies that support a national effort to create sustainability in older buildings.

This multi-year project aimed to turn the City’s 80-acre building complex across from the Ford World Headquarters into a world-class, energy-efficient, sustainable municipal campus.

It was named Project of the Year by the Association for Energy Engineers (AEE) Region III and the American Public Works Association (APWA) Michigan Chapter. It was also nominated for APWA’s National Project of the Year.

“There are numerous elements of the Dearborn project that combined make it quite unique and innovative. The Central Powerhouse and much of the energy infrastructure were built in the 1960s, and the energy costs had risen to over $1 million per year. This project is bringing the City of Dearborn to the forefront of municipal energy management and efficiency, and the energy cost savings alone are estimated to be upward of $600,000 per year,” said Vytau Virskus, principal Millenium Energy Company, adding that there are over one trillion square feet of public and commercial buildings nationwide that could benefit from this type of energy infrastructure upgrade.

Millenium Energy Company worked with Larkin Engineering to design an innovative, comprehensive solution to upgrade heating and cooling infrastructure that would maximize energy efficiency and minimize future energy and maintenance costs. At the heart of this solution is Millenium’s patented E~flow control system, which uses a patented control algorithm to satisfy a building’s real-time heating and cooling demand to deliver the right amount of hydronic energy at the right time to each of the buildings and heating/cooling systems on the campus.

“These projects were designed to modernize our Municipal Campus buildings’ HVAC, lighting, and controls infrastructure while improving comfort and reliability, and reducing operating and energy expenses, to which end the project has been extremely successful, with significant savings in both energy and personnel costs,” said Eric Witte, Deputy Director of Public Works for the City of Dearborn. “Most of the work was implemented during the COVID-19 pandemic, while the buildings were occupied and operating. I have to thank all who were involved for their commitment to successfully completing the project, under some very extenuating circumstances. Thank you.”

Anthony Belzak, Superintendent of Powerhouse and Facilities, stated, “The conversion of the campus constant volume chilled water distribution system to variable flow could not have been done without the E~flow technology.” He added, “Together with the maintenance-related cost reductions, the total savings to the City could exceed $1 million annually.”

The project included upgrading HVAC, thermal, and electric infrastructure, and other energy-consuming systems to the most current technology in six key buildings: Dearborn Administrative Building (DAC), Henry Ford Centennial Library, Police Building and Jail, Dearborn 19th District Court Building, Ford Community and Performing Arts Center, and the Central Cooling and Electrical Distribution Plant (Powerhouse). Larkin Engineering completed all MEP design work for complete HVAC, boiler, and chiller systems installations. CSM Mechanical and CSM Energy Solutions performed most of the mechanical installation work, building automation integration, and E~flow programming.

The Project of the Year award from the American Public Works Association (APWA) Michigan Chapter will be presented at a banquet on Oct. 13th in Traverse City, MI:

“This was a unique project due to its size and scope and given the significant energy reduction achieved, which leveraged the latest in building automation technology, as well as infrastructure replacement. There is a significant need for these types of projects across commercial and public spaces to reduce our collective energy demands. The City of Dearborn HVAC Infrastructure & Energy Initiative should be considered a model for other municipalities to follow,” said Karen Mondora, APWA Michigan Chapter, Awards Chair.

The Project of the Year awarded by the Association for Energy Engineers (AEE) Region III will be presented Oct. 19 at AEE’s global conference in New Orleans, LA:

“We are honored to award this year’s Energy Project of the Year to Vytau Virskus,” said Jerry Eaton, Association of Energy Engineers (AEE), Vice President (Region III). “Vytau’s work in the field of energy efficiency and cost reduction is awe-inspiring. His contribution and project implementation efforts towards the Dearborn, MI, HVAC Infrastructure & Energy Initiative is truly remarkable. The overall project resulted in an energy savings of approximately $600,000/year. Congratulations!”

The project was launched in 2016 with construction beginning in 2018. The majority of work was completed in 2020. The remainder is expected to be complete in 2021, though efforts for continuing energy efficiency and sustainability will be ongoing. Click to download the case study.

Project highlights:

• Integrated the patented E~flow variable heating and cooling pumping volume control system into the new Tridium building automation system. E~flow manages the variable flow of the 22,000-gallon chilled water tunnel distribution system from the central plant. It delivers the chilled water to each of the buildings on the main loop, totaling almost 0.5 million square feet, based on thermal energy demand. E~flow also stages and optimizes the operation of the two 600-ton chillers to minimize electric demand. E~flow also controls the variable hot water flow in each building based on heating demand.
• Reduced energy use by installing new state-of-the-art and energy-efficient equipment such as direct-drive fans, variable speed pumps, variable capacity chillers, LED lighting and controls, etc.
• Installed a new state-of-the-art distributed building automation system (dBAS) utilizing on-board chiller, boiler, VFD, and HVAC unit controls for comfort control and energy management, and to minimize costs.
• Applied energy-efficient operations strategies for real-time optimized high-efficiency centralized cooling, distributed heating, and building ventilation determined by building occupancy to control thermal and electric demand.
• The entire system is designed to utilize an Energy Dashboard for all campus buildings with real-time, online metering to track energy usage and costs.

More infomation can be found HERE.

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