50 Years of Continued Success
50 Years of Continued Success
Without a doubt, COVID-19 has presented companies with both hurdles and opportunities. For Ohio-based Systecon, the pandemic was a chance to grow and explore bold, innovative ways of reaching out and interacting with clients.
A global leader in the manufacture of customized modular utility solutions, modular central plants and pumping systems, and the company behind the acclaimed CritiChill® modular indirect evaporative cooling system, Systecon’s services include installation, preventative maintenance, energy management solutions, monitoring of controls, upgrade and retrofit and more. Serving customers in diverse markets such as food and beverage, hospital and medical, retail, gaming, K-12 and higher education, industrial and others, the company remains very hands-on.
Environmentally friendly and renewable, biogas is quickly gaining popularity as an alternative to natural gas as a source of fuel. Although natural gas produces less carbon dioxide than burning oil or coal, it is still a fossil fuel, and the supply will eventually be exhausted. Recognizing this, the world is looking to biogas – produced from organic matter such as plant material and manure – as a substitution for fueling vehicles, and as a replacement for natural gas as a source of energy.
Playing a significant role in the future is Systecon’s patented CritiChill system, developed by the company in-house. Brought to the market about a decade ago, CritiChill is dramatically more efficient (up to 30 percent greater) compared to ordinary air-cooled chiller plants operating at full loads, and uses only 20 percent of the water required by regular cooling towers.
Although biogas is a fairly recent development for Systecon, the company has been involved in a push for de-carbonization for some time, and CritiChill has long been a part of that equation.
“CritiChill is an electric-based product, so what is the source of the electricity?” asks Systecon’s Sales and Marketing Manager Alex Juncker. “We are working with clients, so they evaluate that.” In some cases, clients want to use the CritiChill system, but their existing power generation is carbon-intensive, such as coming from coal-powered plants. Based on the flexibility of the product, Systecon advocates using water for the heat rejection cycle to reduce the amount of energy consumed, so the impact from that power plant is reduced. “So if we can improve the efficiency of the plant or of the CritiChill unit by utilizing water for evaporation, we can get better efficiencies,” states Juncker.
Systecon is seeing tremendous activity in Canada right now with customers using renewable power and reducing the amount of water they use to cool.
“CritiChill is really able to mesh between those two situations, because it’s not a product necessarily tied to water usage cooling due to its hybrid nature,” says Juncker. “I think that’s a great option for most of our customers when they are looking at electrification; you can use a CritiChill chill unit to do simultaneous cooling and/or heating, but with that, we can also evaluate reducing or limiting water usage, or reducing power consumption by improving the efficiency through water usage. So it is agile from a product standpoint to meet those de-carbonization goals.”
Systecon sees itself being more and more involved with biogas and meeting the low- or no-carbon goals of its customers in the future. With unique abilities to design and plan for these goals and factory-test to see efficiencies of products before they are shipped, the company is well-equipped for a world using fewer fossil fuels and more clean, non-polluting renewables.