University Sustainability

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Lee Wilson wins 2015 Appalachian State University Energy Summit Research Award

Saturday, August 15, 2015

In association with Appalachian State University and Scale Free Systems (SFS), recent Sustainable Development graduate Lee Wilson recently won the undergraduate research project award at the fourth annual Appalachian State University Energy Summit in Boone, North Carolina. The 2015 Appalachian Energy Summit was the fourth annual gathering for the University of North Carolina Energy Leadership Challenge. The goal is to jumpstart a national transformative effort across higher education. With more than 425 attendees, and representatives from all 17 universities in the UNC education system and 8 other out of state schools, it was the largest gathering to date.

"Upon initial inspection the chiller was cleaner than it was before. The biological growth in and on the cooling towers is gone. We are surprised and extremely pleased with the Scale Free System. A cleaner system is obviously more cost efficient" according to David Meadows (Certified HVAC Facilities & Building Operations Maintenance Technician, Appalachian State University.) 

The results were staggering. Based on the BCP Blown Down Water Log provided by Patrick Richardson, Energy Analyst, BSEE, PEM Appalachian State University, the following data conclusions we reached: The daily water blow down was reduced by 93.11% after the Scale Free System was installed from 707.95 gallons per day to 48.75 gallons per day in the past seven month period. The total water blow down for the seven month period has been reduced by 93.55% from 160,511.1 gallons 10,344.9 gallons. Based on these numbers, if we apply scale to this technology, Lee believes we can achieve water savings of up to six million gallons of water a year on campus. Data for eliminating chemical cost were unattainable.

The system has been chemical free for seven months with positive results. The ASU Library Traffic Circle Chiller Plant cooling tower water from the Scale Free System installation was tested by an independent testing facility (Pace Analytical Services Inc.) The test results show SFS cooling tower water had 738 CFUs (which is well below cooling tower std. of 10,000 CFUs). 

Scale Free Systems, Inc. is part of the RF Meeh Family of Companies, a St. Louis based mechanical and HVAC contracting company. Bob Hanneken, Sr. Vice President of Scale Free Systems added, "We are very pleased to see the traction our system is gaining with such a large university as Appalachian State. In addition to the water and energy savings, the university is seeing the added benefits of scale and microbiological control while incorporating a sustainable, green technology into their facility operations."

The Scale Free System (SFS) is an environmentally responsible, "green" alternative to water treatment preventing and reversing scale formation, preventing corrosion and biological contamination for all heat transfer systems without the use of chemicals. SFS's cost-effective, unique solution reduces overall maintenance time and costs versus costs associated with chemically treated heat transfer systems. SFS will extend the life and improve the efficiency of heat exchange equipment. Users see significant water and energy use savings with the implementation of SFS making the use of blow-down water a safe, viable option for on-site gray water use or direct discharge back into local waterways.

For more information about the Scale Free System go to