Predictive Free cooling (water-side economizing) is an effective tool for reducing overall energy consumption in complex cooling systems. In practice, however, it can be difficult to implement effectively, often involving guesswork in determining when to turn on and off.
Due to lack of precise information, operators frequently avoid using free cooling to minimize the possibility of expending the extra energy consumed by suddenly restarting chillers. Also, free cooling is often inefficiently implemented and fans can be overrun, due to this lack of precise data.
OptiCx Predictive Free Cooling eliminates guesswork through incorporating 72 hour forward weather forecast data that accurately predicts free cooling availability. When plant conditions permit free cooling operation, OptimumLOOP informs the operator that free cooling is available or can occur automatically, through OptimumLOOP triggering free cooling mode on and off without operator intervention. Predictive Free Cooling is configurable, allowing for both the outside air wet bulb threshold and the minimum free cooling window period to be adjusted based on a site’s specific requirements. Monthly reports are available to subscribers, providing insight into the free cooling hours available, free cooling hours activated.
Predictive Free Cooling is available on Optimum Energy’s web app for intelligent plant management. The app shows forecasted free cooling windows for the upcoming 72 hours, as well as the historical actual and forecasted wet bulb temperatures for the past 24 hours. Customers have the option to use Predictive Free Cooling for automatic control of free cooling mode (the OptiCx platform manages the process directly), or through information sent to the operator.
The ongoing result is reduced overall energy consumption through increased use of free cooling and improved efficiency in system operations. The OptiCx platform learns and improves over time, allowing operators to manage free cooling more effectively, and at optimal efficiency.