1 - Initial Setup Chiller Plant Analyzer

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Welcome to our tutorial on Chiller Plant Analyzer. I’m Bob Fassbender with energy-models.com, and let’s get started. 

If you want to compare chiller designs, one of the best tools in the arsenal of the HVAC world is Train’s Chiler Plant Analyzer. It’s not free software, but they do have a nice free trial, and the software’s incredibly easy to use. Rather than explaining some of the details, we’re just going to jump in and start using the program, and I’ll explain things as I go.

We open Chiller Plant Analyzer. It is in the Trace 700 family, so if you have Trace 700, you already have a license to Chiller Plant Analyzer. We’ll just give this a name. We’re gonna start out with “1 Chiller at ARI,” and we’re going to compare that to 2 chillers at ARI, essentially two of the same chillers, just two smaller chillers. 

We’ll start. We have all of these options; if we look at some of the options, the diagrams illustrate this very nicely, but we’re just going to start with 1 chiller at ARI. When we do that, the next thing that we’re prompted with is the weather location. It defaults to US locations. We’re just going to leave it in La Crosse, Wisconsin. You can do some overrides and things like that, but the override is not as important here as it might be in other places, because we’re going to specify the design tonnage anyway. We’re going to go ahead and click “next.” 

For the next step, we have to select a building type. There’s a lot of choices here, so this could seem really high-pressure, but really this is just doing a few things. One of the main things this is doing, is creating an hourly profile throughout the year to see how the building behaves, which we’ll look at in just a moment. You want to select a building that’s similar to the building that you have, in terms of its operational schedule, so a lot of buildings would probably be similar to an office. Now, if you look at these options they have “no economizer” and “with economizer,” that means an airside economizer. Of course, because we’re talking about chillers, you could think that we’re talking about a chiller economizer, but that’s not the case. This is the airside economizer, because an airside economizer can drastically reduce the cooling load during the swing months of the year — so that’s the spring and fall months, in parts of the world where we have four seasons.

I’m just going to select “retail with economizer,” and here we enter the peak tonnage — we’ll put 1,000 tons, and the equivalent of that in heating, for a climate that has the peak heating approximately the same as the peak cooling.