Stay Ahead of HVAC Problems this Spring

While many are excited to emerge from a long and cold winter and enjoy the rising temperatures that come with spring, not everyone loves the shift in seasons. Facility managers around the country dread the season change as it always brings lingering HVAC problems to the forefront. Every year during the spring and fall as temperatures are changing, buildings around the country work hard to adjust to the change in seasons as well. The HVAC systems go from cold temps outside and constant heating of the building to cooling instead, or vice versa. This dramatic change takes a toll on the building envelope and interior and can make underlying HVAC problems that went unnoticed during one season, suddenly very noticeable. Employees and paying customers alike are feeling the discomfort of hot and cold spots, condensation dripping, A/C not kicking on correctly, doors blowing open, and other annoyances.

These types of issues not only affect the comfort for your customers in the facility, they can also lead to long term maintenance and higher energy costs should they not be fixed quickly. This is where having an independent 3rd party onsite to inspect the equipment can assist. Hiring an independent company can help in identifying the underlying cause of such problems and repair minor issues that may have gone undetected for years. By having the facility inspected by a truly independent company, facility managers can know that the information they are receiving provides a truly accurate snapshot of their facility and is not biased or swayed based on loyalties. You will get real results with accurate and actionable information.

If you are experiencing any of these issues with the upcoming season change, it is recommended to have these issues investigated immediately. Prices begin to rise just as the temperature does in the summer, as construction demand is at its peak during this time. Seeing some of these issues in your building? Contact us here to talk with our team about ways to get in front of problems before they get worse!

Meet Sean Cokingtin, Sales Engineer

Business Unit and Job Title

Intelli-Hood Sales Engineer

What does your job entail?

Responsible for developing Melink’s Western market presence within New Construction specifications for Melink’s demand control kitchen ventilation (DCKV) system.

What did you do before coming to Melink?

Before Melink, I was a student at the University of Dayton. As a student, I served three co-op terms. Two terms were with Emerson Climate Technologies where I worked in the A/C Scroll Compressor division. My third term was with Eaton Corporation where I worked as a technical sales intern out of their Dallas, TX office.

What is your favorite aspect of working at Melink?

My favorite aspect of working at Melink are the customers we get to work with. The fact that we’re able to do business with biggest names in commercial restaurant and retail speaks volumes about our offerings. 

What do you like to do in your time off?

In my time off, I like to exercise and cook (not at the same time).

Tell us something that might surprise us about you.

I’m 25% Chinese.

What are you most proud of?

Graduating college.

Motto or personal mantra?

“Just figure it out”

Do you collect anything?

PO’s

MELINK SOLAR & GEO EXPAND ENERGY-SAVING OFFERINGS

Melink Solar & Geo recently became a national representative for SHARC Energy Systems, a company that has developed a series of products focused on recovering thermal energy in liquid waste such as sewage, laundry wash water, brewery tank cleaning water, etc.  This energy is then transferred via a heat pump to create new hot water for either domestic hot water (showering and cleaning) or space heating hot water.  These systems can also take the place of a cooling tower to allow heat rejection in the summer months without consuming precious water or requiring chemical treatment.

Why would MS&G want to promote these products?

First, this is a largely untapped source of thermal energy that is HUGE!  In 2005, the US DOE estimated that 1,194,200 BILLION BTU’s are discarded annually down our drains in North America – probably much more nearly 15 years later.  Note that if you burned natural gas to make that much heat at typical market costs, this untapped energy stream could be worth nearly $6,000,000,000!  That’s a lot of zeros!

Second reason to add this to our “toolbox of energy solutions” includes our mission to “electrify everything” in a manner that is highly cost effective and environmentally positive.  This technology is complementary to our other Solar PV and Ground-Source Heat Pump offerings in meeting that goal.  This additional also complements our other divisions; Testing & Balancing, IntelliHood (smart, variable volume commercial kitchen hoods) and PositiV (our new building “health” monitoring system).

PIRANHA - SHARC Wastewater Heat Recovery System

Case Study

Recently we designed a geothermal heat pump system for a new 7 story/230 room hotel that is under construction in the USA Midwest.  We observed that the heat pump system removed much more cooling energy than required for heating on an annual basis.  One way to address this is to apply this type of technology to “pump” waste heat from the HVAC system into the Domestic Hot Water system to reduce the burning of natural gas, reduce energy cost and allow the heat pump system to operate more efficiently.  We’ve proposed to provide a SHARC PIRANHA system to address this and depending upon the size of the system (5 or 10 tons) we could provide an annual energy savings of $4,000 to $9,000 with a CO2 reduction of 22 to 45 metric tonnes. This system could provide 27-54% of their annual hot water needs.  Payback on the initial investment can be as short as 6-7 years.

We provided the conceptual design for a 235,000 square foot research facility proposed to be built in Ohio.  They wanted to consider a ground-source heat pump solution for their nominal 1,000-ton cooling load.  We looked at a full-size geothermal bore field that would cost approximately $5.3 million, then a smaller bore field with a cooling tower that would cost $3.0 million and finally, a VERY small geothermal bore field with a SHARC system tied into the city sewer for only $1.5 million!  This offering allows us to provide better energy consumption than a full-size geothermal borefield or the cooling tower options with lower first cost, no water or chemical treatment for a cooling tower and ALL HVAC components safely underground or inside to reduce risk from damage from weather events or acts of terror.

SHARC Wastewater Heat Exchange System

Applications

We continue to work with SHARC Energy to develop concepts that can enhance our mission to change how we heat & cool buildings and provide hot water.  These types of systems can be great for:

  • Lodging applications such as recovering heat from sewage or laundry, possibly large commercial kitchens with a significant dish washing load as well
  • Breweries, distilleries and wineries that use a great deal of hot water for cleaning that is then lost down the drain
  • Car washes – also can be lots of hot water down the drain
  • Apartment buildings, college residence halls and senior living facilities – target size of 50 to 400 residents is the sweet spot, but larger is great too!
  • Large swimming pools that have separate tanks for filter backwash water before it is released to a city sewer

We are even looking at two municipal (large) snow melt systems in the Midwest that use natural gas to provide the needed heat.  Converting these to municipal sewage heat pumps can significantly reduce energy consumption, cost and CO2 emissions.

Want more information on the SHARC system? Contact us here or call us at 513.965.7300!