FAQs

Q

What type of projects could use a Systecon pumping package?

A

There are many different applications where Systecon has been and can be utilized. Although many times we are associated with only large projects, Systecon modular utility plants have been installed in projects that range in size, from very large multi-service plants to small singular applications.

These projects have been implemented in primary and secondary schools, hospitals, universities, hotels, libraries, office buildings and state and federal government facilities. Our systems have also been used in manufacturing plants, airports, pharmaceuticals, prisons, process facilities, and chemical plants.

Systecon modular utility plants have been incorporated for chilled water, hot water, condenser water, thermal storage, steam to hot water, process heating and cooling, compressed air, water treatment, water source heat pump and geothermal systems.

We serve a wide range of customers, from large multinational tech companies and manufacturers, to local utilities and governmental agencies, and anything in between. 

Q

What are the advantages of a Systecon pumping package?

A

There are many advantages of using a factory built utility plant in lieu of a traditional field built system. The modular utility plant provides many advantages during the entire project from design and construction, to operation. The advantages include:

  • Design flexibility - custom built product
  • Reduced space requirements
  • Reduced engineering time
  • Accurate, predetermined cost estimates
  • Wire to water efficiency - designed to minimize kW consumption
  • Simplified field hookup - single inlet/outlet, single electrical and control feed
  • One housekeeping pad
  • Reliability of wiring - UL 508 and ETL listing
  • Extensive quality control program
  • Factory testing - guaranteed performance
  • Streamlines site commissioning
  • Reduces maintenance costs - quality factory construction
  • Single source responsibility - performance/service/warranty
Q

Do factory built pumping packages cost more than a field built pumping system?

A

No! There can be a perception that a factory built system is more expensive than a field built system. This is not necessarily the case, and is a function of job and application specifics. There are many factors to be accounted for to determine true CapEx and installation costs.

A Systecon modular utility plant is a water management system that incorporates four separate trades: structural, mechanical, electrical, and controls. When all of these trades are considered, the factory built system typically is NOT more expensive than the traditional field built utility plants.

The Systecon package typically includes: a structural base, pipe supports, major components like chillers and/or boilers, pumps, piping, valves, air separators, expansion tanks, piping specialties, main power distribution, motor starters, VFD's (Variable Frequency Drives), electrical wiring, a control panel, DP (Differential Pressure) sensors and pressure and temperature transmitters.

For the components that are supplied on the package, Systecon has excellent OEM agreements with various equipment suppliers. We buy large quantities of various brands of large components, pumps, piping, valves, VFD's, etc. that allow us to get very competitive pricing on all of these components. This allows us to receive consistent competitive pricing from a variety of equipment vendors.

The controlled factory environment allows us to construct our packages very efficiently, reducing the time required to build them. Availability of parts, power, overhead cranes and additional personnel all contribute to increased efficiency. We are not hindered by sight conditions or policies that can delay the construction process as is the case many times in field built systems. 

Q

What are the benefits of factory testing a Systecon pumping package?

A

Factory testing ensures that the system will operate and function as designed before it ships to the jobsite. The Systecon factory testing includes a flow test that guarantees the performance of the system from a flow, head, and energy standpoint. This can be a zero tolerance test that measures flow, head and system kW to compare the actual values to those predicted in the Wire to Water report included in the contract documents. Every Systecon modular plant is tested to ensure it meets the predicted performance before it ships. If the system fails the performance test at the factory, it is fixed before it is shipped.

Systecon has a flow test stand that can test up to 30,000 GPM. Many times for field built systems, testing to full flow is not possible. Future buildings or loads may not be online, which allows only a partial system flow test. Verification of full system flow for a field built system may never happen.

The factory test also includes testing of the control system. The sequences of operation, such as pump staging, chiller staging, valve operation, failure modes, etc. are tested. This ensures that the system will operate as designed. This factory testing of the control sequences streamlines the on- site commissioning process. The reduction in commissioning time is ideal for fast track projects.

Every Systecon modular plant is subject to factory performance testing. This is a requirement for all systems regardless of size or application. All instrumentation of the Systecon test stand, such as flow meters, tachometers, watt meters, etc. is NIST traceable. This ensures the reliability and quality of the testing procedures and data taken.

Q

Is there enough room to properly maintain a factory built pumping package?

A

Although most Systecon modular utility plants require 20 to 25% less floor space than a field built system, they are designed to allow for proper maintenance. The layout of the packages is such that all major pieces of equipment can be accessed. All electrical panels are located so that they have full unobstructed access. Space for strainer screen removal for y-type strainers and suction diffusers are incorporated into the package design. These maintenance clearances are also shown on the submittal drawings.

In addition, many of the Systecon utility plants are furnished with monorails. This is an optional feature for smaller packages and is standard for all packages that have motors 40 HP or larger. The monorail, which is supported from the structural base, provides a means for removing and replacing motors and or pumps. This is easily incorporated into a factory built package. Many times it is difficult to locate a monorail in a field built system due to overhead obstructions or height considerations.

The custom nature of the modular utility plant allows us to easily modify its size and configuration. If a larger footprint is preferred to allow additional space for clearance, this can be accommodated.

Q

Why should Systecon control the pumping system?

A

The Systecon controls are specifically designed to optimize the performance of the modular utility plant. The "brains" of the Systecon control system is an Allen Bradley PLC. The industrial grade PLC is extremely reliable and fast, with failure rates at less than one per 100,000 hours of operation. The PLC evaluates data at least two times per second, which will eliminate hunting that typically occurs in systems that utilize slower acting devices.

Systecon has a vast array of experience in optimizing the performance of systems. Systecon developed wire to water efficiency in the 1980's. This control strategy determines the overall efficiency of the complete system within the modular plant by evaluating the inefficiencies of the pumps, motors and drives at the various capacity scenarios seen in a dynamic hydronic system.

The software is written to continually calculate the overall system efficiency to make intelligent decisions, which maximizes performance and minimizes power consumption. The wire to water analysis is designed to stage equipment on or off based on the system's most efficient operating point.

Systecon's controls also incorporate an approved BACnet device that allows communication between the many commercially used building management systems. The Systecon control system supports ModBus, BACnet, LonWorks, and N2 protocols. The utility plant controls optimize the performance of the system while providing the protocol interface device, which allows the data and information from it to be monitored by the building management system.

Q

How does a factory built pumping system benefit the design engineer?

A

The main benefits a factory built utility system give to an engineer are in that it is a time and risk management tool. The efforts of a design engineer can be streamlined when using a modular utility plant instead of a field built utility plant.

Systecon develops footprints, schedules, specifications and cost estimates for every modular utility plant. The footprints are in CAD format and can be e-mailed for inclusion in the engineer's plans. Modular utility plant schedules and specifications can also be e-mailed and easily incorporated into the contract documents.

The development of the plant footprints simplifies the layout of the mechanical room. The major pieces of mechanical equipment can be more easily connected together, eliminating the cumbersome layout required of a field built plant. The coordination between the electrical and mechanical design teams is minimized. With a factory built utility plant, the electrical engineer merely shows a single power feed to the package. All of these advantages save the engineer valuable design time.

The design engineer is able to design a utility plant that is specifically engineered for the particular application. The package allows the engineer to have complete control of utility plant design from conception to installation. The engineer is given a wire to water report that predicts the overall performance of the utility plant. The factory flow test certifies and guarantees this performance. In addition, the factory test also verifies the control sequences to ensure that the operation of the utility plant is as designed. Systecon takes full responsibility of the entire utility plant. Therefore, there is a single source of responsibility from a performance, service and warranty standpoint. These features reduce the risk the design engineer must incur.

Q

How does a factory built pumping system benefit a contractor?

A

Like it does for the design engineer, the factory built utility plant allows the contractor to manage his time and risk better. With a factory built utility plant, the contractor's effort becomes an equipment rig and connect. This allows the contractor to concentrate his time to other areas of the project. A factory built utility plant saves the contractor time and allows him to get on and off the job faster.

A factory built utility plant also reduces the contractor's risk on the project. The biggest risk for the contractor is his estimate of labor for the project. With a factory built utility plant, the contractor is shifting dollars and resources from the labor side of his estimate to the equipment side. The labor required for the utility plant is minimal. The delays associated with waiting for the various components of the system to arrive at the job site is eliminated. Job site delays due to other trades can also be eliminated.

In addition, the contractor also reduces risk since Systecon takes full responsibility for the utility plant. This responsibility includes the performance, service and warranty of the entire system. If there is any issue with the system, Systecon takes care of the problem. The contractor's involvement with any issue during the warranty period is minimized. Also, every Systecon system is provided with factory testing and startup to makes sure the plant is functioning as designed. Again, this gives the contractor piece of mind by shifting risk from himself to an equipment supplier.

 

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