Project: Central Power Station – Chilled Water Plant
The University of Oregon’s Chilled Water Plant was not meeting the chilled water demands of the campus. It was also inefficient and could not support the university’s expansion goals.
The challenge for Wood Harbinger, the prime consultant, was to provide an energy-efficient chilled water system that would continue to serve the university’s campus for the next 40 years. However, when the firm was awarded the project, the scope of the work was not specific and the university’s goals were undefined.
The firm responded by conducting a series of studies and investigations to help define the extent of the problem. The work involved completing a condition/capacity appraisal of the existing plant, an assessment of the chilled water system connections in each building, a heating/cooling thermal load analysis for the 295-acre campus (with more than 100 existing and future buildings covering 4.4 million square feet), and a condition/capacity evaluation of the existing chilled water distribution system (extending over 24,000 feet in more than 20 campus-wide tunnels).
A major obstacle in the project was the disparate collection of system components that operated independently from one another, causing inefficiencies and significant energy loss.
Wood Harbinger required the manufacturer of the new chiller equipment to team up with a cooling tower manufacturer to demonstrate system efficiency and manage power requirements between the systems. A single central control system unifies all the major pieces of chiller plant equipment to monitor and control the adjustable settings of the equipment, resulting in a plant that is now twice as efficient as the old one.
The carbon footprint of the campus has been reduced by 7 percent, and the university was awarded a $900,000 initial rebate from the local utility.
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