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Central Chiller Plants

Institute for Facilities Management

Dallas, Texas
February 3, 2014
Course 319

Presenter: John Vucci

Associate Director HVAC Systems
University of Maryland
College Park, Maryland

Seminar Course Objectives

 Provide an introduction to the Planning and Design
Process when considering the upgrade of Central Plants
 Discuss the basics of Central Plant Designs
 Review industry guidelines and standards applicable to
developing efficient Central Plants
 Discuss examples of Central Plant Designs

Planning Decisions
 Sustainability in Design
 What type of Central Plant is best for the
 Single Building
 Multiple Facilities connected


Today’s Concepts of Green and

Sustainable Design
 Sustainability: Providing for the needs of the present without
detracting from the ability to fulfill the needs of the future
 Green and sustainable design achieves a balance of high
performing buildings over the life of a facility (CHP) by,
 Minimizing natural resource consumption
 Minimizing emissions
 Minimizing solid waste and liquid effluents
 Minimizing negative impacts on site ecosystems
 Maximizes quality of indoor environment
 Information from ASHRAE Green Guide: the design and construction and
operation of sustainable buildings – 2nd edition 2006

Today’s Concepts of Green and

Sustainable Design
 Implementing Green/Sustainable design may
raise the first cost of the purchase
 G/S designs evaluate and contribute to LCC
through energy efficiency and operational
flexibility rather than simple focus on first cost

Design Considerations

The Architects Team


 Peak design vs. Diversified or part load operation
 Constant Primary/Variable Secondary
 Primary Variable Flow
 Constant Flow
 Hybrid Designs (using different technologies)
 Demand Management of energy Consumption
 Metering & Controls Integration
 Ancillary Systems (water Treatment, Refrigeration MER

Useful Guides and References

 ASHRAE Guideline 22: Instrumentation for monitoring Central Chilled
Water Plant Efficiency
 ASHRAE Standard 15 - 2007: Safety Standard for Refrigeration
 ASHRAE Handbook 2008: Chapter 2 Decentralized Cooling
and Heating
 ASHRAE Handbook 2008: Chapter 3 Central Cooling and
Heating Plants
 ASHRAE Handbook 2008: Chapter 11 District Heating and
 Future Standard: ASHRAE SPC – 184 MOT Field Testing Package



Temperature, Flow and BTUH Metering

GPC-22 & SPC-184

3 wire platinum RTD Ultrasonic Flow


Basic Design
Chiller design is constant flow variable temperature
CHW pumping is constant flow
CW pumping is constant flow
CW temperature is controlled by some means (VFD shown)

Basic Design
Typically these systems were designed in the past with three-way control
valves across the distribution load. Newer single designs can utilize
variable CHW flow with two – way modulating valve control changing the
original design concept to variable flow constant temperature.

Oversized chiller with installed plate

& frame heat exchanger connected
to another building utilizes variable
2-way control valve. Original 3-way
control valve provides plant
minimum flow requirements.


Primary-Secondary Design

Primary Variable Flow

2,600 TR
1,900 Tr 1,900 Tr electric
Steam Steam chiller
driven driven
chiller chiller

6,400 Ton Variable flow chiller plant serving

21 buildings consists of 2-1,900 Tr chillers &
1-2,600 Tr chiller


Thermal Energy Storage - ICE

Hydronic Decoupler or


Chiller Plant Refrigerant

Containment, Ventilation and Safety

Spring loaded relief valves Emergency ventilation capability where

CFM = 100 x G0.5 (where G is the mass of the
High efficiency purges largest refrigerant system)

Venting emergency relief piping to When occupied; General ventilation @ 0.5

atmosphere cfm/SF and volume not to exceed a MER
temperature rise of 18oF

Chiller Plant Refrigerant

Containment, Ventilation and Safety

Refrigerant Transfer Equipment for total

removal of refrigerant from chiller. Where
multiple chillers in a Central Plant are present
the storage vessel is sized to hold the largest

Planning for Maintenance

Service access for repairs, equipment access need to be



Planning for Maintenance

Cleaning condenser tubes can be one of the most cost effective measures of a
maintenance program.
Clean condenser heat transfer is critical to the efficient operation of a chiller.
Discussions with manufacturers identify for every 1 oF increase in
condenser water temperature compressor energy consumption increases
by 2%.

Technician using Local Condenser gantry rig for head

tube cleaning for removal. Ideas for plant consideration
annual cleaning of is not normally presented by the design
condenser tubes team

Planning for Expansion

Following the construction of a new Biosciences building (1,400 Tons Peak) a
2,000 Ton chiller addition was constructed to expand an existing 2,000 Ton –
8,900 Tr/Hr TES ICE Plant. Shell construction occurred parallel to the new facility
during summer 2007 the chiller equipment was installed and commissioned for
readiness. The original Plant decouples the ethylene glycol Primary from water
secondary. The 2,000 TR Plant addition now base loads the summer daily
diversified peak of 1,800 tons of capacity, with the TES ICE storage used for Univ.
Demand Response Program.

Original 2,000 New 2007

Tr TES Plant 2,000 Tr

Additional Space allowed for

1,600 Tr addition

Components of the Plant designed with sustainability,

Chiller: .62 Kw/Tr @ Design 2,000 tons with VFD operation was factory
performance tested @ 9% (180 Tr) at .36 Kw/Tr
Cooling Tower: Uses 2 VFD’s for each fan set to supply 65 oF CWS
CHW Variable 125 HP Pumps: Use VFD to pump CHW from design 4,000 GPM to
minimum flow (2,000 GPM) as needed.
Flow VFD

4,160 VAC Variable

Speed Drive
ASHRAE 15 Refr.
Exhaust & Refr.
Specific Monitor

Condenser Water 2,000 Ton R-134a

Treatment Centrifugal Chiller


 Plant flexibility
 Operations maintenance

Closing Questions