Facility managers conserving energy at Wright-Patterson AFB

Wright-Patterson Air Force Base facilities are on the right track, according to the results from several weeks of 88th Civil Engineer Group’s energy audit and the energy savings performing contracts when it comes to energy savings. So far both have shown efficiency work that facility managers have completed on the base.

While auditing the 88th Medical Center, CE noted exactly how clean the mechanical rooms were, something that greatly contributes to the energy efficiency of the equipment that operates in those environments. Cleanliness can make the variable frequency drives of those motors operate more efficiently, which results in less power used.

Good housekeeping can also minimize the maintenance needed in other sections as well not just the hospital. Cleanliness decreases the downtime or the potential for an interruption of service due to overheating in any kind of mechanical system, even computer work stations.

Some actions for personnel to avoid are adjusting thermostats, propping doors open and operating unauthorized space heaters or other personal electronic devices. These actions can cause heat ventilation and cooling systems to operate inefficiently or to overwork. This can potentially cause an interruption to service.

One of the best efficiency efforts was in the data centers. The facility management teams in these areas have taken great strides to conserve energy by replacing multiple antiquated computer room air-conditioning systems with newer, more efficient systems. This upgrade allowed them to place half of their units into standby mode, enabling maintenance to be performed and doubling the time between scheduled repairs.

Additionally, they removed more than 125 unused power feeds that only created cluster and increased drag on air velocity needed to cool the computer systems. Improving the “hot isle cold isle” approach to server room cooling has also reduced the overall temperature needed to cool the room to a sustainable operational level by 3 degrees.

This approach continued by including recommissioned lighting systems to accommodate facility duty hours as well as installing motion sensing technology in the server room to only light the areas currently being occupied.

The Energy office strives to recognize those who are putting their best foot forward and to find a way to get others on board to do the same. There are many great training classes and seminars offered by the Federal Energy Management Program and Ohio Center for Industrial Energy Efficiency about data center energy efficient initiatives.

Contact CE and they can assist in finding the training that would best fit your specific facility or provide more information about various programs. Contact them at WPAFBEnergyOffice@us.af.mil with energy ideas, concerns or to ask questions about any energy initiatives you may have.

About the Author