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University Moves Forward with Plans for Steam and Chilled Water Plants

by on November 10, 2017 3:31 PM

Penn State will replace an inefficient boiler at the West Campus Steam Plant and expand its North Campus Chilled Water Plant, following approval by the university's Board of Trustees on Friday.

A team was approved to design and build a combustion turbine and heat recovery steam generator that will replace a boiler in the steam plant. According to the university, the replacement will expand University Park's combined heat and power (CHP) system and increase capacity for growing demand.

The CHP system has higher energy efficiency and eliminates distribution losses, resulting in reduced energy use and lower greenhouse gas emissions. It will provide 20 percent of campus electrical demand and 30 percent of steam requirements.

The steam plant will maintain operations while the project is under way. The West Campus plant is one of two at University Park. The smaller East Campus plant has a combustion turbine and heat recovery steam generator that was installed in 2010.

The North Campus Chilled Water System will be expanded to meet increasing demand for cooling. The expansion will add two, 3,000-ton chillers and three cooling towers, as well as three chilled water pumps and three condenser water pumps. Structural and roof modifications will be required for three new cooling towers.

Centralized cooling is more efficient and reliable than cooling buildings individually, so new and existing buildings are added to the chilled water system on a regular basis, according to the university.

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