Unlocking Efficiency: Cooling Towers and Chillers

Alex Siminoff

July 19, 2023

Cooling towers, chillers, water towers and more on top of New York City buildings. NYC Accelerator created a tool to look up a New York City building to view its estimated energy use and see if the building is on track for LL97 compliance.

Maintaining a cool indoor environment in the sweltering summer heat is essential. Unfortunately, Heat waves are becoming more common. Manhattan saw 24 days at or above 90 degrees last summer alone!

Cooling towers and chillers play a pivotal role in providing cool comfort to residents in many large apartment buildings. However, optimizing these systems to minimize energy waste involves balancing various factors such as system capacity, overall system performance, weather conditions, and operability.

Local regulations like New York City’s Local Law 97 will also begin to impact the way that these systems are operated in the future.

Understanding Cooling Towers and Chillers:

Cooling towers and chillers form the backbone of a building’s cooling infrastructure. Cooling towers extract heat from a distribution loop and reject it to the atmosphere, while chillers remove heat from the chilled water circulated throughout the building. The two systems work together to ensure a comfortable indoor climate.

Efficiency and capacity are vital considerations when selecting cooling towers and chillers. Higher efficiency units not only reduce energy consumption but also lower operating costs. Additionally, properly sized equipment ensures optimal performance, preventing overworking and unnecessary energy waste.

However, the ability to properly control these systems will have the greatest impact on their ability to beat the summer heat without spiking your utility bill.


Top view of cooling towers on a building

Credit: leungchopan – stock.adobe.com


Common Issues:

We’ve noticed 5 common issues with cooling towers and chillers as spring turns to summer.

1. Not taking advantage of pre-cooling during the morning
2. Running pumps at higher speeds than necessary

3. Chilled water temperatures don’t adequately meet and anticipate demand

4. Preventative maintenance is not regularly carried out or targeted

5. Systems are not properly set up to maximize demand response revenue


How Parity Can Help:

What lies behind many of these issues is that most buildings with central cooling have antiquated control systems that rely too heavily on manual control adjustments. Parity’s technology automates the operation of central cooling systems, as well as other building systems, to ensure that demand is met without unnecessary energy consumption.

We accomplish this through Parity’s customized control algorithms that use weather data, weather forecasts, system performance indicators, historical operating data, and other inputs to develop optimized control adjustments that are streamed to the associated building systems in real-time.

At Parity, we combine this with alarms and alerts as well as proactive human support from HVAC experts who act as an extension of your building staff. This allows Parity to help building operators prepare for those extra hot days as well as efficiently pinpoint and resolve onsite maintenance issues that can’t be resolved through our remote control.

In addition to the utility cost savings, streamlined operations, and reduced maintenance costs generated, this approach can reduce a building’s exposure to building performance standards such as New York City’s Local Law 97.

Plus, Parity guarantees energy savings for multifamily residential buildings or we cut the building a check for the difference.


Contact us now to learn more about how we optimize cooling towers and chillers. You can reach us at contact@paritygo.com.

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