The central chilled water system at University of Oregon provides industry lessons learned to engineers on what design approaches to avoid in district cooling systems which are due to fear and result in unnecessarily wasting money and energy. Just a few years ago, UO spent millions of dollars to build a new Chilled Water plant. The campus Athletic Arena complex was built in 2013 and had ongoing issues to maintain comfort conditions during major events. Many buildings including the Arena are isolated with heat exchangers due to fear of over-pressurization and a lack of understanding of district level system operations. Booster pumps are installed in the system without doing hydraulic analysis of the entire chilled water system. This paper will describe the issues at UO and will provide the analysis on how on how to solve many of the hydraulic issues of system, improving system performance and reducing operating costs. The paper will also discuss what important data points require trending to learn the behavior of the system and help optimize the system performance.
Tony Hardenbrook, University of OregonHemant Mehta, WM Group Services
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