On November 15, 2023, Energy Machines' recent project at 345 Hudson Street, New York, was highlighted in an article in Energi&miljö, a prominent Swedish technical magazine focusing on energy and indoor environments.
Click here to read the original article by Mikael Bergling at energi-miljo.se (Swedish), or read the adapted translation below.
In Manhattan, New York, the Danish-Swedish company Energy Machines is currently constructing a new smart energy system. The 17-story building, spanning over 90,000 square meters, dates back to the 1930s.
The building is currently heated, in part, using steam produced locally within the building through gas boilers (natural gas). According to David Hermansson, an energy engineer and project manager at Energy Machines, the steam system is scheduled for decommissioning by 2030.
Situated near SoHo along the Hudson River, the building's tenants include notable companies such as Google, Viacom, and CBS. Originally a printing house, it has since evolved into a dedicated office space. As tenants move out, each floor undergoes renovations with new surface finishes and updated technical installations.
"Each floor will have a smaller sub-central with our heat pump connected to the thermal network. Depending on the floor's specific needs, the temperature can be further increased," explains Hermansson.
Energy Machines won a proposal a few years ago for renewing and optimizing the building's energy system. They have since assisted consultants in the overall system design, provided documentation for construction, and delivered heat pumps, ventilation units, and the central control system, which is the core of the entire facility.
On the top floor, an energy center with air/water heat pumps will be constructed. A network of pipes running through the building acts as a thermal network. The rooftop heat pumps, not supplied by Energy Machines, aim to raise the network temperature by a few degrees, depending on the outside temperature.
The idea is to utilize energy where and when it is needed most. Hermansson emphasizes, "The goal is to use energy when and where it is needed most."
Regarding cooling, floors requiring it can draw from the loop or, if the demand is higher, from the heat pumps. Any excess heat can be returned to the thermal network.
By sharing and recycling heat and cooling among the building's tenants, and eventually neighboring buildings, the goal is to reduce energy consumption. The plan includes storing heat in repurposed firefighting tanks, allowing the heat pumps to operate more efficiently.
"To date, we have delivered ten heat pumps. Four floors are completed, and the commissioning exceeded expectations. The remaining six heat pumps are set to be installed next year, depending on the floor renovations," says Hermansson.
Energy Machines is also supplying a new large custom-built ventilation unit with a recycled polycarbonate heat exchanger for the building. It boasts a temperature efficiency of up to 90 percent.
While a local contractor handles the installation work, Energy Machines will be on-site to ensure quality. The various installations are expected to at least halve the building's energy consumption.
When asked about the differences in working on building energy systems in the USA compared to Sweden, Hermansson notes similarities in actors and disciplines but highlights higher labor costs and more extensive bureaucracy in the United States. Additionally, heat pumps, common in Sweden and the Nordic region, are perceived as relatively new and exotic in the USA.