February 2021 Chapter Meeting

February 10, 2021
11:45 AM MST to 1:00 PM MST
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Meeting Topic: Variable Primary Flow (VPF) Systems

Classification: Intermediate

When we consider a chilled water system configuration, such as VPF, it is beneficial to examine and compare the new system with conventional systems. While VPF systems have now been in use for over 20 years, the system still must be designed and operated properly to provide the expected benefits to the building owner.

This presentation covers:

  • A brief overview of primary-secondary systems, and a comparison with VPF
  • Why are people considering VPF today, when it was not allowed in the past?
  • Challenges associated with varying water flow through the chiller’s evaporator
  • Plant sequencing, and various chilled water plant configurations that might be considered
  • Control, specification and operating issues
  • And even systems that should not be considered for VPF design.


Speaker: Mick Schwedler, PE, FASHRAE, LEED® AP BD+C

Mick has been involved in the development and support of HVAC systems for Trane since 1982. As an applications engineer his areas of expertise include system optimization (in which he holds patents) and chilled water and water source heat pump system design.

Mick serves as a President Elect on the ASHRAE Board of Directors and is an ASHRAE Fellow, recipient of ASHRAE’s Exceptional Service, Distinguished Service, and Standards Achievement Awards, and was Chair of SSPC 90.1-2010 (if you have any comments about that!). Mick also served as Chair of the Advanced Energy Design Guide Steering Committee and on project committees for the 50% Hospital and Office Buildings AEDGs. He is Past President of the La Crosse Area ASHRAE Chapter and presently misses serving on Technical Committees.

Moving beyond energy to an environmental perspective, Mick Chaired the LEED Technical Committee and served on the LEED Steering Committee. He is also a past member of several USGBC technical and educations groups, authored portions of the original ASHRAE GreenGuide and served on technical groups for the New Buildings Institute.     

Mick and Jen have three children -- Ben (married to Mandi with grandson Ian), Caroline (married to Aaron with grandson James), and Karl -- that are all blessings to them. Their family is quite active at First Evangelical Lutheran Church where Jen is an organist. Mick sings in barbershop quartets whenever possible, and golfs when work and volunteer activities allow. Raised 30 miles from Green Bay, WI in the 1960’s, Mick is an avid (or is that rabid?) Packer fan.


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