State-of-the-art HVAC system for Shanghai auto factory

During the design phase of a new automobile manufacturing factory in Shanghai, China, ITT’s Bell & Gossett unit was called in to resolve problems with the site’s heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system. The result was an advanced and efficient set of pump sensors and controllers that power the large industrial facility’s HVAC system.

Shanghai General Motors Company Ltd. (SGM) is a 50-50 joint venture with U.S. auto giant General Motors and Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation Group (SAIC), the leading passenger car manufacturer in China. The largest automotive joint venture in China, Shanghai GM was formed in June 1997. It manufactures a family of Buick products, as well as engines and transmissions. Shanghai GM is fully supported by a network of sales, aftersales and parts centers. Shanghai GM has an annual production capacity of 200,000 vehicles operating on three shifts.

With sales success came the expansion of production facilities in Shanghai. SGM’s latest expansion is the South Plant. Covering 230,000 square meters, the plant is equipped with the most advanced automobile production line and equipment. Five main workshops adopt the management process of modularized design and flexible production lines to satisfy the variable requirements of the market by producing several different model cars in a single production line. The new SGM factory produces luxury Cadillac model cars. The output of the new SGM factory is predicted to reach 200,000 cars per year.

In the first phase of the factory construction, the HVAC system was equipped with pumps and common variable-speed controls. After tests during the design period, the HVAC equipment supplier was not able to resolve a number of unsatisfactory phenomena and performance problems. In order to resolve these system problems, the plant’s master designer began a process of engaging HVAC experts and investigating alternatives.

Educating HVAC Professionals
In China, ITT Bell & Gossett is viewed as a manufacturer, and as an educator and expert in HVAC equipment and system analysis. Every year, an instructor from Bell & Gossett holds seminars and advanced lecture series around China for HVAC designers and ITT Bell & Gossett distributors. This education is built on the 50-year history of the “Little Red Schoolhouse”, a center for HVAC education that ITT Bell & Gossett runs from its headquarters near Chicago. The master HVAC system designer in charge of the SGM project was invited to attend the ITT Bell & Gossett seminar held in Nanjing. The principles, formulations and systems analysis shown in the seminar ultimately satisfied the master designer that ITT Bell & Gossett could resolve the HVAC system problems at the auto plant.

After the seminar, discussion began with SGM regarding the new factory’s HVAC system. Piping layout drawings and system drawings were analyzed and ideas were shared to solve the HVAC design problems.

Variable-Speed Drives Save Energy
Powering the huge HVAC system in the auto factory is the power plant, which takes up 5,000 square meters. This plant includes seven 2,000-ton chillers and three 400-ton chillers. Tying these chillers into the plant’s HVAC system are ITT Bell & Gossett’s primary and secondary systems with variable-speed design. Integrated into the new factory’s HVAC system is a large contingent of ITT Bell & Gossett pump systems, including nine large ITT Bell & Gossett Series VSCS pumps, 14 Series HSCS horizontally split pumps and 14 Series 1510 base-mounted end-suction pumps. The pumps are controlled by the primary and secondary variable-speed system and provide the factory with excellent energy savings.

Pressure sensors were placed in a number of positions throughout the plant; these sensors pass a signal to controllers. The controllers then change the frequency of the variable-speed drive to the pump’s rotation speed control, allowing an accurate flow in the HVAC system. In a comparison to the variable transmission that many cars are now equipped with, the ITT Bell & Gossett systems can provide the factory’s HVAC system with any capacity of flow by changing the pumps’ rotation speed. The initial cost of the variable-speed controller equipment is offset within short running period by minimizing energy expense.

A local team including Fluidtech, the ITT Bell & Gossett distributor in Shanghai, and Alex Jiang, the ITT Bell & Gossett sales manager in Shanghai, assisted the SGM design engineers and successfully finished the HVAC primary-secondary variable-speed system design for the plant.

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