Chiller plant and controls upgrade help reduce energy costs and ensure shopper comfort
Vernon Hills, IL
Hawthorn Mall is a top Chicago shopping center located in the northern suburb of Vernon Hills. In 2015, as part of a $50 million redevelopment project, the mall’s owners determined that the existing, aging chiller plant needed to be upgraded. In addition, the entire chilled water system needed a modern controls solution to help reduce energy costs and increase operating efficiency.
The management of Hawthorn Mall had a long service history with Carrier Commercial Service (Carrier) of Chicago and selected them to execute their chiller plant and accompanying system upgrade due to the trusted relationship with Carrier’s sales and service staff. Carrier had been maintaining the existing three Carrier chillers for many years, and in 2013 began discussions to update the chillers and controls to help improve the operating efficiency of the mall’s entire heating, ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC) system. As problems with the chillers developed—one chiller lost its full R12 refrigerant charge—plans accelerated to replace two of the mall’s chillers and fully automate the plant with an i-Vu® control system.
It was determined that the entire retrofit project would be executed in phases. Phase one would replace the existing chillers, install new chilled water pumps with variable frequency drives (VFDs), add new condenser water pumps, and convert the chiller plant from constant flow to variable flow. In addition, i-Vu controls would be added to automate the plant. Phase two integrated other building systems (like AHUs and lighting) into the i-Vu control system. Phase three would optimize the entire chilled water plant.