Infrastructure upgrades at Pacific Palms Resort in City of Industry, California, have generated first-year energy and operational savings of more than $540,000, including nearly $343,000 in energy costs and $203,000 in operational costs. The resort also gained an additional $500,000 in one-time rebates from electrical and gas companies.
Many of the heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems were original to the facility, including those serving the resort’s 35-year-old convention center. The HVAC systems and incomplete, pneumatic controls had become extremely inefficient, resulting in high energy usage and comfort issues throughout the building.
Prior to undertaking upgrades, the resort’s project team conducted a complete audit of the resort to identify, validate and prioritize energy conservation measures. Based on the results of the audit, Pacific Palms proceeded with upgrades on systems, controls, energy management, lighting and services.
Specific upgrades included adding a 500-ton centrifugal chiller equipped with a variable speed drive to lower energy use. The resort’s old steam boilers and leaking heat exchangers were also removed and replaced with four new modular, hot water boilers to increase efficiency.
A thermal energy storage system shifts demand out of peak periods of the day. A screw chiller operates at night charging 16 thermal energy storage tanks installed outside the central plant. The tanks discharge during the day to provide cooling in parallel with the centrifugal chiller, helping to keep chiller use to a minimum.
An energy management system provides facility managers with a dashboard to review key data points, facilitate analysis, and help Pacific Palms develop energy strategies to control costs.
A building automation system (BAS) ensures all equipment is optimized for maximum savings. A wireless communication system helps ensure that communication is maintained and eliminates communication wires between the system controller, unit controllers and zone sensors.
Improvements were funded with a performance contract.