High Bay Buildings with Heat Only
Location: Tooele AD
Owner: US Army Corps of Engineers
SEA was contracted to perform a level one energy optimization assessment at Tooele AD as part of the Energy Engineering Analysis Program (EEAP) funded by the Army through the US Army Corp of Engineers. The assessment audited 69 buildings. Of these buildings, approximately 50% were heated only or contained high bay spaces that were heated only. Many of the buildings are from the 1970’s or prior and are constructed with corrugated metal panels or concrete. The high bay spaces perform services on ammunition and would fall under the industrial or manufacturing building category.
There are a few solutions in such existing buildings that can reduce energy consumption and prevent or reduce the amount of heat lost to the exterior environment. The most ideal would be to use natural gas fired radiant heaters. This method uses radiant energy to heat objects such as the floors, tables and people. Minimal energy is lost to the outside because it does not use forced air as its method of delivering energy. Convection losses may affect interior comfort but otherwise radiant heaters will effectively reduce heat loss.
Another option would be to use solar radiant heat in the form of a solar wall. The delivery method of the radiant heat remains forced draft but instead of consuming energy to produce the heat, the source will be the sun. Solar walls can even provide some energy on cloudy days but a backup system would need to be implemented to supplement the solar wall. The solar wall can be mounted on any south or partial south-facing surface such as a wall or roof.
Another method to reduce heating consumption in high bay areas is to install de-stratification fans near the ceiling. There are compact styles and rotary blade styles of de-stratification fans that are comparable in reducing energy but are suitable for different applications depending on the ceiling obstacles. De-stratification fans will force warm air near the ceiling down to the occupied and thermostat level, therefore reducing the run time of the heating system.
To prevent bay doors from being left open and heat or cooling being lost outside, HVAC door switches can be installed. An HVAC door switch will communicate with the HVAC system and can be programmed to turn off the systems after the door has been left open for a certain period of time.