East Chill Plant Upgrade

Texas State University

The East Chill Plant equipment was at the end of its useful life, unreliable, inefficient, and unable to continue meeting the cooling load. Two single stage steam absorption chillers and three CFC-containing electric drive centrifugal chillers were replaced with five 500-ton high efficiency electric drive centrifugal chillers. Variable speed chilled water pumps were installed to circulate chilled water through the distribution system.

Shah Smith conducted a hydraulic analysis to determine improvements needed to the chilled water system and based on that study we replaced undersized headers in the plant, installed booster pumps at several buildings, and connected the East Chill Plant to the Central Chiller Plant to allow the two plants to operate in parallel for greater efficiency and reliability.

Failing wood and galvanized steel cooling towers were replaced with fiberglass counter flow cooling towers on existing concrete basins. The new cooling tower fans are controlled with variable speed drives to improve plant efficiency.

A new heating water system was installed, the main electrical service to the plant was replaced, and all new equipment was integrated to the campus energy management system using fiber optic communication so that this satellite plant can be readily monitored and controlled from the main plant.

A detailed phasing plan was developed which allowed essentially all major equipment to be replaced without interruption of service to the buildings served.