Princeton University Receives 2017 IDEA Innovation Award

By District Energy posted 07-10-2017 12:19


Innovation-Award---Princeton.pngTom Nyquist from Princeton University (center) receives IDEA's 2017 Innovation Award from IDEA President Rob Thornton (left) and Bob Smith, RMF Engineering (right) at IDEA's 108th Annual Conference & Trade Show on June 23rd in Scottsdale, AZ.

Princeton University Receives 2017 IDEA Innovation Award

IDEA values the open exchange of best practices, sharing of new technologies, and lessons learned from industry peers that drive progress and advancement in district energy. Since 2013, IDEA has been recognizing the best new ideas in the industry through its annual Innovation Award.

Presented by Bob Smith of RMF Engineering, the 2017 Innovation Award was given to Princeton University for creatively addressing an industry-wide problem of low Delta T in a remote location of its chilled water distribution system.

Primarily a process load, every practical remedy has been applied but without success. For years, 1 out of 180 customer buildings at this site handicapped the operation of the entire network, requiring Princeton to unnecessarily run large equipment for long periods of time, and preventing the system from ever taking advantage of free cooling. Princeton then installed what it calls a “Heat Concentrating Chiller” at this problem site and uses its district chilled water inside a tertiary loop as well as its condenser loop.

The result was a new supply and return Delta T of 26°F vs. the historic 4°F or 5°F. Today, the customer receives its 41°F water even in winter, when the rest of the campus can operate with 47°F or 48°F.

Tom Nyquist received the award on behalf of Princeton University for their innovative Heat Concentrating Chiller solution to a long time industry challenge.

2017 IDEA Innovation Award Honorable Mentions

1. Ball State University, for ground source heat pump geothermal district energy.

Starting in 2011, Ball State University has converted its campus from a coal-fired steam boiler district heating system/central centrifugal chillers operation to a ground source heat pump geothermal district energy system that produces simultaneously hot water for heating and chilled water for cooling. The project has demonstrated that a large-scale deployment of geothermal heat pump technology is feasible and is stimulating broader application of this technology throughout the United States.

The system includes 3,600 four hundred foot-deep vertical closed-loop, manifolded boreholes that act as heat exchangers and transfer thermal energy into and out of the ground. No groundwater is used in any part of this “closed loop” geothermal system.

The new system has not only enabled the university to save $2 million annually in energy costs, but also to abandon coal—eliminating annual emissions of 85,000 tons of carbon dioxide, 240 tons of nitrogen oxide, 200 tons of particulate matter, 80 tons of carbon monoxide, and 1,400 tons of sulfur dioxide.

Honorable-Mention---Farris-Engineering.pngGreg Kronaizl, Farris Engineering (center) accepts the IDEA 2017 Innovation Award Honorable Mention on behalf of Farris Engineering and South Dakota State University. The honorable mention was presented by Bob Smith, RMF Engineering (left) and Rob Thornton, President of IDEA (right) at IDEA's 108th Annual Conference & Trade Show on June 24th, 2017 in Scottsdale, AZ.

2. Farris Engineering & South Dakota State University, for the North Chiller Plant

Farris Engineering designed a new utility plant on the South Dakota State University campus, which included a new Chilled Water Production Plant to accommodate anticipated growth in the northwest sector of the campus.

The solution pioneered the use of an entirely fusion-welded polypropylene pipe systems for chilled and condenser lines for the SDSU North Chiller Plant in lieu of traditional grooved or welded carbon steel pipe and fittings and high-density polyethylene (HDPE) pipe materials which also afforded an environmentally sustainable, non-toxic, corrosion and chemical resistant system with a life span in excess of 50 years.

The facility has been in operation for one year. Use of chemicals is lower than a sister plant built in similar manner using carbon steel materials. Corrosion of chiller heat exchangers is not measurable at this time and is expected to minimal, if at all. While piping materials costs were minimally higher for the nonferrous pipe materials—less than 10 percent—installation costs were reduced by approximately 30 percent for labor due to the light weight of the pipe materials.

Honorable-Mention---Empower.pngAhmad Bin Shafar, Empower (center), receives an IDEA 2017 Innovation Award Honorable Mention from IDEA President Rob Thornton (right) and Bob Smith, RMF Engineering (left) at IDEA's 108th Annual Conference & Trade Show on June 24, 2017 in Scottsdale, AZ.

3. Empower (Emirates Central Cooling Systems Corporation), for Delta T Pro Metering Solution 

Empower has applied Delta T Pro as its online monitoring tool to instantly detect thermal losses throughout its 1.2 million RT district cooling service, from plant production through of its 65,000 individual sub-metered customers and maintain an overall system delta T of 9°C.

For example, Delta T Pro identified previously undetected anomalous temperatures between plant-side and building side primary line temperatures inside Energy Transfer Stations (ETS) due to uncalibrated temperature sensors, which were quickly replaced.

All 65,000 customer sub-meter readings are monitored in real-time on-line, making it easy for the company to identify and take action for all low delta T conditions by dispatching a maintenance team to verify and to resolve suspected faults. The system then automatically confirms the proper rectification of the problems.

All readings are instantly available, enabling the company unprecedented control over the efficiency of its operations.

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