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Do not be misled by the name NY-Engineers.Com is the top choice if you need a Full Service Heating & Air Conditioning (HVAC) Engineering Firm in Chicago Illinois. We are not only an HVAC Chicago but also a leading provider of Architectural Engineering Engineering services in Archer Heights Chicago. Call us at (+1) 312 767.6877

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In recent times huge crowds have been browsing our website in search of HVAC Engineering in the Chicago area. This is due because of the following we have built in this kind of work. However, a lot of general contractors from Lake Zurich to Moline, Illinois, don’t know that NY Engineers is also a top choice for anyone looking for HVAC Firm near Chicago.

The pursuit of cost effective buildings involves cost effective HVAC system design. This will include systems for domestic water heating, architectural enclosure, HVAC, lighting, and vertical transportation. The loads for your HVAC systems may come primarily from five different places including lighting (cooling), the construction envelope (cooling and heating), ventilation (cooling and heating), equipment for program use (cooling) and occupancy (cooling).
The ventilation load is a purpose of either the instruments required in an attempt to introduce it into a space and control contaminant concentration or the quantity of individuals which will be in the room. In the vast majority of climates from the eastern and southwestern parts of the usa, to lower outter ventilation can save energy whenever the exterior air is either humid and warm or very cold.
Manipulating the ventilation rate is going to be dependant upon occupancy which is referred to as a form of demand control ventilation. This really is a everyday sort of energy conservation strategy that is utilized for buildings with occasional or heavy occupancy. Having heating and cooling loads dropped as low as possible can be achieved by using a very high performance building envelope, occupancy sensors, and performance lighting that apply daylight response of lighting controls.

Chicago HVAC Engineering services versus HVAC Techs

If you’ve ever wondered about the distinction between a HVAC Engineers vs HVAC Technicians, then keep reading:

HVAC engineers are the people that supervise installing of air conditioner systems both for commercial and residential buildings. They spend a lot of their work in offices doing higher level organization and preparation of installations nevertheless they do also stop by job sites every once in awhile.

On the other hand, HVAC technicians in Chicago tend to do a lot of hands-on work  that deals with repair and maintenance. A HVAC tech may work with or for an engineer to perform several of the installation task, specifically for smaller jobs. In general HVAC techs do considerably more travel and may even spend a lot of time identifying leaks, changing filters, doing recharges or decommissioning old and outdated systems that utilize old refrigerants.

HVAC engineers may have a chance to make more decisions about systems that are employed, and they also would be the people that would offer assistance with one of the most sensible refrigerants and which systems would be perfect for a bigger building. In the industry, there exists some rivalry between ‘the suits’ and ‘the ones which get their hands dirty’, but the two jobs do require an effective knowledge of how air cooling really works. As of late huge crowds have been browsing our website searching for things like HVAC Tech Chicago Il. Nevertheless, the focus of our organization is to become the to go to company for those searching for a HVAC Company near Chicago and or any of our other services including Mechanical Engineering Engineering services. We ask that anyone searching for additional details about our Heating and Air Conditioning (HVAC) Engineering Firm in Chicago Illinois takes a look at our blog…

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Simplify Your MEP Engineering Design: Put an End to Over-Engineering

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The “more is better” mindset does not always apply in MEP engineering projects. Over-engineered components often increase project costs without providing any real benefits, and there are many cases where excessive capacity in fact has negative consequences on performance and service life. Another type of over-engineering occurs when the system used for a specific application is too complex, and a much simpler solution would have been possible without compromising performance.

General Disadvantages of Over-Engineering

Regardless of the specific application, over-engineering drives up project costs without offering significant benefits: oversized components are more expensive, and the associated labor cost also increases because equipment becomes more difficult to handle.

When mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems are too complex for the application at hand, there is also a higher chance of error during construction, due to the introduction of unnecessary components. This increases the chance of MEP engineering professionals and others involved in the project having to deal with change orders during project construction.

Over-engineering also brings performance issues that are specific to each type of building system. HVAC installations tend to suffer the most: an over-engineered system can be just as problematic as an undersized one, if not more.

Oversized Electrical Circuits

The main issue with oversized electrical circuits is their high cost. In fact, performance is improved: oversized conductors reduce both heat dissipation and voltage drops. The problem is that these benefits are not enough to justify the drastic increase in costs:

  • Copper is expensive.When you consider that a typical building has thousands of feet of electric circuits, the cost of oversized conductors adds up very quickly
  • Conduit diameter is increased.Electric codes establish a maximum fill percentage for conduit, so increased conductor capacity also involves larger conduit and accessories.
  • Labor costs are increased.Since they are more difficult to handle, larger conduit and circuits typically require more man-hours of work. In most cases, specialized tools may also be needed.

When the extra costs of oversized conductors are considered, they far outweigh the benefits. Oversized conductors are particularly common with energy-efficient HVAC equipment – they are often specified based on “rules of thumb” that only apply for older and less efficient equipment.

The NEC and other electric codes may establish a maximum allowable voltage drop. It varies depending on the application, but in most cases either 3% or 5% is used. In these cases, conductor diameter should be raised so that voltage drop is brought to acceptable levels, but any further increases are unnecessary.

Using various supply voltages in the same installation is an excellent way to optimize conductor diameters. Keep in mind that power transmitted is proportional to both voltage and current, but only current defines conductor diameter. If a piece of electrical equipment draws too much current at 240 V, it makes sense to increase rated voltage to 480 V – this reduces line current, allowing smaller conductors to be specified. Of course, these are design choices that can only be determined by qualified professionals.

Oversized Electric Motors

In the case of electric motors, over-engineering tends to bring far more issues than with conductors. When subject to part-load conditions, electric motors display two main types of negative behavior:

  • They suffer a drastic reduction in efficiency when the mechanical load on their shaft is much lower than their rated load. For example, a motor loaded at 80% does not suffer an efficiency drop, but for values under 50% the effect becomes significant.
  • Power factor is also reduced when a motor is loaded lightly. Utility companies normally establish a minimum power factor for their consumers, and there are extra power bill charges for falling below that value.

Of course, another drawback of oversized electric motors is the drastic price increase. Motors can be among the most expensive pieces of electrical equipment, and oversizing them only reduces efficiency and power factor.

When specifying electric motors, special consideration must be given the voltage rating, since it determines the characteristics of all circuits and breakers located upstream. Large motors may justify the use of voltages such as 480V or 600V to prevent excessively high currents.

Air-Conditioning Systems

There are many types of air-conditioning systems, including mini-split units, packaged terminal air conditioners (PTAC), packaged rooftop units (RTU) and heat pumps. However, over-engineering tends to bring a common set of performance issues:

  • Oversized compressors run in shorter and more frequent cycles, which is detrimental for their components and results in increased maintenance expenses. Keep in mind that compressor motors draw an inrush current that is several times their rated value each time they start – ideally, they should not cycle more than necessary.
  • Air conditioning systems have the goal of controlling both temperature and humidity, but many types are cycled on and off based on temperature alone. Since oversized units reach the temperature set point faster, they are unable to extract enough humidity and the resulting environment is cool but humid. This is uncomfortable for occupants, and may bring health issues as well.

Compressors are not the only AC system components that bring performance issues when oversized. In system configurations that use air ducts, over-engineering also brings several negative consequences. For example, oversized ducts involve displacing a large volume of air, which drives up the CFM and power requirements of blowers.

In chiller plants and other types of AC installations that use hydronic piping, the extra cost associated with over-engineering can be particularly high. Other than being expensive, oversized piping requires more pumping power, increasing the nameplate capacity of both pumps and motors.

For air conditioning installations that will be subject to gradual capacity increases, variable refrigerant flow (VRF) systems can be a great choice – their modular nature offers great flexibility to size their capacity precisely depending on building needs. Chiller plants also offer flexibility, but are better suited for larger capacity increments than those typical of VRF systems.

Heating Systems

For heating systems that are based on heat pumps, the same logic of air conditioning installations applies: oversized compressors suffer from frequent cycling and normally experience a diminished service life.

In the case of oil and gas boilers, the main drawback of over-engineering comes from short cycling: a phenomenon that occurs when an oversized boiler meets heating demand too quickly and then shuts down. To better understand the impact of short cycling, consider that boilers operate in a four-step cycle: pre-purge, firing interval, post-purge and idle period. When the firing interval is short, several negative consequences arise:

  • The boiler radiates heat from its enclosure through the entire cycle, including the two purge phases and the idle period. Oversized boilers waste more energy in the form of radiated heat.
  • During the pre-purge and post-purge steps, fans are used to displace any flammable mixture of gases that may have been left in the boilers. Both purging stages consume energy.

Although gas and oil boilers can cycle depending on the load, doing so is very inefficient. A superior alternative is to use two or more boilers of reduced capacity, which offers the flexibility to meet varying load conditions with energy-efficient operation. If there is a large demand for heating at any given moment, for example on Monday mornings during the winter, all boilers can be used simultaneously. Then, some of the units can be shut down to avoid short cycling losses.

The misconception that a larger boiler is better dates to the time when fireplaces and chimneys were used for indoor heating: a larger chimney offered greater flexibility to accommodate fires of any size. However, modern boilers operate on completely different physical principles, and the assumption no longer holds.

Concluding Remarks from an MEP Engineering Professional

Over-engineering can be favorable in specific applications where a high safety factor is required, but in most cases, it only drives up MEP engineering project costs without a significant return on investment. In fact, oversized systems typically come with a higher cost of operation due to inefficient operation and frequent maintenance expenses. Hiring the services of a qualified design firm is the best way to ensure MEP installations are engineered properly.

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