Renovate the heating plant for a marine police bureau, using technology that would have long-term financial and environmental benefits.
The Marine Police Bureau in Suffolk County, New York, is a 15,000 square foot facility that houses both law enforcement professionals and equipment and depended on 30 year old, oil-fired, hydronic modular boilers that required frequent maintenance and costly repairs.
Javed Ashraf, Energy Engineer, P.E., C.E.M., contacted GA Fleet to help investigate and ultimately choose an option that would significantly reduce overall operating expenses just by upgrading one component — the boilers. He was especially interested in the operating advantages of condensing boilers with very high turndown. GA Fleet provided a list of local facilities designed with AERCO units. Among them was the Sachem School District, one of the largest school systems in New York State. Sachem had purchased 12 AERCO units at its new high school to accommodate several diverse load requirements, including space heating, domestic hot water and pool water heating.
Ashraf chose the AERCO Benchmark because he determined that the two-million Btu/hr heating capacity, coupled with its wide range in operating capability, would best fit the special needs of the Marine Bureau staff and building. The design challenges posed by the garage doors which had to be frequently opened to outside air in order for vehicles to enter, the building's immediate proximity to the Great South Bay, and the operating profile of the Marine Unit's maintenance staff were all considered.
The BMK2.0 is designed to be operated in condensing mode for increased efficiency and delivers 20:1 turndown for a wide range of non-cycling operations. The unit matches any load between 100,000 BTU/hr. and its full two million BTU/hr. capacity without shutting down, minimizing cycling losses. Another benefit is that the boiler's efficiency — up to 99% — increases as the firing rate drops to meet the part load conditions, which characterize the spring and autumn temperatures that greatly extend the heating season.
Suffolk County's additional challenge was to install the system in time to benefit from a utility incentive. AERCO installation required a switch from fuel oil to natural gas and KeySpan Energy had offered the County an incentive if the conversion was completed by December 31, 2005. Although the project didn't begin until late November, it was completed before the deadline.
As shown in Figure 1, the county saved $11,780 in fuel costs in just the first year. The savings were so substantial, in fact, that KeySpan called the county Department of Public Works to see if the marine facility had turned off its meter.