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Oil Free: Maintenance

Oil Free: Maintenance

Age and reliability are two common factors that determine whether to repair or replace commercial HVAC systems. If a machine has performed in tough conditions, growing repair costs and more-frequent service may signal to facilities managers it’s time to replace the equipment. When looking for leadership approval on a commercial HVAC replacement proposal, facility managers and directors must demonstrate how the replacement system will rapidly deliver a return on upfront investments as well as how the new system will save money over the life of the system.

Providing rationale for investment in HVAC technology is especially true at facilities with a large building footprint, such as an office campus, hospital, or university. Replacing outdated systems is often a major investment and leadership needs reassurance it’s the right investment.

Many organizations opt to install oil-free chillers because they gain immediate savings with these systems– including reduced energy costs; for longer-term benefits, the oil-free design is unique in its delivery of reduced maintenance and service calls.  High temperatures combined with oil and moisture can create acids that may weaken a chiller’s motor, potentially leading to additional equipment complications.

Keith Liken, facilities director at Mount Sinai Medical Center in Miami Beach, Florida knows what it’s like to sell these benefits and outcomes when driving a massive replacement project to retire outdated chillers.  Under Keith’s leadership, the hospital is installing three 1,500-ton oil-free magnetic bearing centrifugal chillers. The hospital selected oil-free chillers in part due to the results of a performance analysis that compared oil-free chillers to the facility’s existing HVAC system. The analysis illustrated how Daikin’s Magnitude® chillers will reduce maintenance, lower energy costs, and help cut the hospital’s operations budget by hundreds-of-thousands of dollars annually.                                                

“Based on my experience with these systems, I knew oil-free chillers were the right choice for our hospital,” said Liken. “But for a long time there was not a system on the market that could handle a building load the size of Mount Sinai’s. Daikin’s 1,500-ton magnetic bearing centrifugal chiller changed that. The savings we’ll realize with this new system is one of the biggest reasons we selected an oil-free chiller for this project.”

Oil-free chillers have fewer moving parts, require no oil or oil-circulation equipment, and therefore are less likely to need maintenance or service. Removing oil from the system means that maintenance tasks such as oil samples, oil changes, oil filter changes, oil disposal and leaks from shaft seals are completely eliminated. 

The results, for organizations like Mount Sinai Medical Center, are fewer service demands and operational cost savings.

 

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