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The energy and engineering experts at Chateau Energy Solutions have enjoyed a long-working relationship identifying and implementing energy efficiency strategies with one of the world’s premier luxury hotel groups. One of their hotels located in San Francisco requested assistance in reviewing the facility and providing a comprehensive energy audit.
The Chateau Energy Solutions team collaborated with the hotel’s Director of Engineering in developing a strategic energy plan. The Chateau Energy Solutions’ professionals identified several areas of improvement to make the hotel’s mechanical and operational process more energy efficient and worked with the brand and hotel ownership to execute a strategic energy plan.
In developing the plan, Chateau Energy Solutions’ team identified a number of energy saving opportunities and worked together with the hotel’s Director of Engineering to create a prioritized energy game plan. “Chateau Energy Solutions provided the energy expertise, the project recommendations, and the energy reduction projects. It always creates a more successful strategic plan when we work with owners and managers together. It is a collaborative effort,” said Jim Gieselman, Chateau Energy Solutions’ Vice President of Engineering. After identifying the energy efficiency opportunities, the hotel’s Director of Engineering, along with the hotel owners decided to implement several of the identified projects at the property.
Digitally controlled thermostats and controls were added to all of the public HVAC units, which are controlled by one interface that resides in the hotel’s engineering office. “The hotel did not have an energy management system in place. It was basically running with manual on and off controls,” said the hotel’s Director of Engineering. “With Chateau Energy Solutions, we engineered an energy management system that put controls in place that digitally control about 30 percent of the HVAC and heating equipment in the hotel.”
The retrofit to the co-generation system was another major part of the project. “The original system consisted of four 60 Kilowatt micro-turbines that send the excess heat into an absorption chiller, which supplemented the hotel’s cooling load about 40 percent of the time,” explained the hotel Director of Engineering. “What Chateau Energy Solutions did was take one of the microturbines off of the chiller loop, and we made it a stand-alone heat exchanger which now provides our heating approximately 90 percent of the time. So we are not only generating power and cooling with the co-generation investment, we are now using it as a heating source as well.”
In addition to providing the energy engineering expertise to design and quantify the value of the improvement projects, Chateau Energy Solutions provided the construction management as was responsible for on-site implementation of the project. “Not only was it environmentally friendly, it’s financially friendly,” said the hotel’s Director of Engineering. “With the new system, it’s much more stable, and we see a tremendous amount of labor savings.”
While a primary motivator for the project was to reduce energy and operating costs at the property, the projects have had other positive benefits, too, including increased guest comfort, the hotel’s Director of Engineering says. Chateau Energy Solutions originally estimated an additional annual operational savings of $150,000 through the retrofit, but within one year the savings add up to more than $200,000 according to Gieselman. Furthermore, Chateau Energy Solutions obtained $56,000 of utility-sponsored rebates for the project.
The San Francisco hotel is working diligently to recycle and move forward with other Green initiatives. “Mechanical efficiency is something that the hotel is looking at, and this is one of the great successes that the property has had,” Gieselman says.
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