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NYU – Langone Health

NYU – Langone Health wanted to improve water conservation by using grey water in its chiller plants. The Helios TCS made this possible by eliminating chiller tube fouling caused by make-up water quality. Adopting new technology offered a two-fold solution to reaching sustainability goals by reducing both energy and water consumption.


NYU - Langone Health & Innovas Technologies Case Study

NYU – Langone Health has been a leader in innovative sustainability initiatives. When NYU-Langone Health’s latest project ran into a snag, Innovas Technologies delivered an effective solution that offered its own unique benefits.

Use Case & Background

NYU has long been a leader in sustainability initiatives, and its latest project is an innovative new approach to energy conservation. The university is now venturing into the forefront of energy conservation related to the efficiency of its central cooling plant operations.

This new project will explore ways to use less energy while still providing cooling for the university’s many buildings.

IThe Helios allowed NYU-Langone to conserve water by using recalimed grey water in chiller plants without compromising performance related to bioscale and tube fouling.

One major initiative at the NYU – Langone campus is water conservation by using reclaimed (Grey) wastewater for cooling tower makeup water. Using grey water is a rapidly growing practice for water conservation but it presents problems related to increased chiller tube fouling (due to water impurities) and requires aggressive water treatment protocols.

While NYU was saving on water expense, condenser tube fouling was so severe they were forced to manually clean chillers multiple times during the season. This caused cooling interruption, a large efficiency loss and increased labor costs.

Sustainability contributions from energy efficiency & water conservation.

NYU – Langone installed the Helios TCS® on multiple chillers in their central cooling plant.  This allowed the use of reclaimed water without fouling related performance issues improving water conservation and reducing electricity consumption – a twofold contribution to sustainability goals.

24 inch Helios TCS and 18 inch Helios TCS Ready for Shipping

Water Conservation:

Using reclaimed grey water to run chiller plants.

Energy Efficiency:

Reduced electricity consumption from improved efficiency.

Helios TCS eliminates severe tube fouling caused by wastewater reuse.

Seeking solutions, NYU turned to Innovas Technologies and the Helios Automatic Tube Cleaning System®. The Helios provides an automated, continuous online tube cleaning that prevents fouling from attaching to the tubes regardless of makeup water source. NYU Langone required a system that could prevent fouling when the quality of makeup water is inconsistent. The grey water effects were so significant that ConEdison offered a substantial rebate upon proof of successful achievement of project savings goals.

NYU-Langone Health installed the Helios TCS on multiple chillers in their central cooling plant. This allowed the use of reclaimed water without fouling related performance issues, improved water conservation and reduced electricity consumption – a twofold contribution to sustainability goals.


Study Results & Data Summary

The Helios systems, operating on four separate chillers, became fully operational in May 2021 and quickly stopped the constant rise in chiller approach temperatures. Chiller approach temperatures are considered to be the most accurate indicator of cooling efficiency. The Helios is an automated, mechanical system that is designed to eliminate fouling in heat exchanger tubes regardless of the type ofmakeup water or chemical application used. In fact, it will prevent fouling completely in tubes even when no water treatment is present or in the event of a chemical upset or interruption.

After one year of operation experience ConEdison conducted the Helios assessment and measurement and validation (M&V) and provided an award of a $185,000 energy savings rebate for the project.

Integrating new technology into the work culture.

Like all modern plants, NYU Langone’s team is focused on efficient operation in all aspects of their facility, and the Helios integration was no different.

By June 2021 all four Helios systems were operational and providing qualitative and quantitative feedback about their effectiveness.

Ultimately, the serviceability and simplicity of the Helios allowed its quick adoption into the central plant workflow for great benefit of NYU:

  • Based on the reduced chiller energy consumption Con Edison awarded NYU Langone a $185,000 energy efficiency rebate.
  • Data confirmed improved chiller energy efficiency demonstrated by stable approach temperatures maintained at, or below, design specifications.
  • The Helios Automated Tube Cleaning System eliminated the need for repeated manual cleaning, thus dramatically reducing maintenance costs within the plant and improving plant safety.
  • Reliability of chilled water plants improved significantly.

Automatic tube cleaning enabled the use of grey water as a practice for water conservation.

Water-cooled chiller plants are a type of cooling system that uses water to remove heat from a building or process. The term “makeup” refers to the water that is added to the cooling tower system to replace the water that is lost through evaporation and leakage.

Traditionally, it was necessary that makeup water be of a high quality, lest it corrode or foul heat exchanger tubes within the chilled water in the system. Monitoring makeup water closely is important, as even small amounts of contamination can reduce the efficiency of the cooling system and cause problems.

All this meant that using grey water for exchanging makeup and keeping tubes free from fouling was mutually exclusive. Historical “best practices” would have said you can’t have both…….but, they were wrong.

The Helios Automatic Tube Cleaning System supports water conservation and, at the same time, further reduces energy consumption by optimizing chiller plant performance. Combining two methods for achieving energy efficiency offers a significant opportunity for HVAC, District Energy, commercial and industrial applications.