PRESS RELEASE – SMUD testing high performance cooling system

PRESS RELEASE – SMUD testing high performance cooling system

SMUD industrial customer deploys Climate Wizard system for the rigors of real-world daily use

Rancho Cordova, CA – June 24, 2014 – One thing is certain in Sacramento during the summer: The weather will be hot and dry and temperatures will hit triple digits. It is certainly a challenge to stay cool. The Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) is testing a new type of heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) technology that borrows from and builds on some tried and true techniques to deliver cooling that improves performance, using a little more  power to run fans when the temperatures outside continue to rise.


The technology uses indirect evaporative cooling, yes, a kind of “swamp cooler” but very high performance using 80 percent less energy than conventional industrial HVAC systems without adding any humidity. It’s called Climate Wizard and one of SMUD’s largest industrial customers, Tri Tool in Rancho Cordova, is supporting SMUD’s Research and Development to test it in this challenging manufacturing environment. 

For industrial customers, maintaining comfortable temperatures in their buildings is exponentially difficult. Their very nature is their square footage and the heat produced by manufacturing equipment challenging conventional compressor-based cooling. The amount of air space to cool as the temperature rises in the hot afternoons and internal heat gains make conventional air conditioning systems work harder and harder because their efficiencies decline as temperatures rise just when cooling is most needed. This drives up energy costs and impacts companies’ bottom lines.

The installation of Climate Wizard at Tri Tool is the first project test of this 60-ton, 24,000 cubic feet per minute indirect evaporative system in the United States. The Climate Wizard system has been designed to provide supplemental cooling in the plant production area. It supplements the 90-ton HVAC unit that was ill-equipped to supply the entire cooling function for the facility. As a result of the project, the facility has realized many new benefits that include providing fresh cool air that has significantly improved air quality, an expected energy reduction of the existing cooling system, and delivery of the necessary cooling required without any additional moisture in the building. The project has shown considerable success, and post-monitoring data for the project is expected to validate the benefits through this summer.     

While Tri Tool is looking forward to testing this large unit and seeing dramatically lower energy bills and cleaner air, there is tremendous potential community benefit as well in reduced peak demand during hot summer afternoons when SMUD’s resources are challenged by a sharp rise in system-wide air conditioning use. Peak demand also challenges grid stability. For decades, SMUD has worked closely with our community to flatten that demand curve on hot days in an effort to keep power reliable and rates stable. If the technology passes real-world testing, larger-space industrial customers would have an option to upgrade to a technology that would save them money, enhance their bottom line and deliver significant community benefit in reduced energy use when it counts most, hot summer afternoons.

Prior to the Climate Wizard project, Tri Tool and SMUD partnered on five research and development projects that included improvements in lighting efficiency and quality from warehouse and manufacturing to offices and the parking lot. Each of the six projects provided solutions for Tri Tool and is cumulatively delivering monthly energy savings of about 40 percent.

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The Climate Wizard indirect evaporative cooling system helps Tri Tool, a large industrial facility in Rancho Cordova, keep cooling costs down. Climate Wizard is a type of “swamp cooler” that is very high performance using 80 percent less energy than conventional industrial HVAC systems without adding any humidity.

About SMUD:
As the nation’s sixth largest community-owned electric service provider, SMUD has been providing low-cost, reliable electricity for more than 65 years to Sacramento County (and a small portion of Placer County). SMUD is a recognized industry leader and award winner for its innovative energy efficiency programs, renewable power technologies, and for its sustainable solutions for a healthier environment. SMUD is the first large California utility to receive more than 20 percent of its energy from renewable resources. For more information about SMUD’s commercial programs and services, visit smud.org.

About Tri Tool:
Tri Tool Incorporated is a privately held, global leader in the manufacture of portable precision equipment specifically designed for pipe beveling, flange facing, in-line cutting, multi-process welding, high performance pipeline machinery, and a wide range of internal line-up clamps. In addition, Tri Tool offers on-site machining and code welding services, special engineering and custom machine design and equipment rental. Customers come to Tri Tool because they are a trusted OEM manufacturer and solution provider. For more information on how Tri Tool is Building Performance, visit www.tritool.com.

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