University of LaVerne, LaVERNE, CA
HVAC Services: Smardt Chiller & Turbocor Compressors Installation
MESA ENERGY SYSTEMS VALUE DELIVERED
A more powerful, cost-effective and energy-efficient heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system; improved system control; greater year-around comfort and productivity; further expansion capability.
HVAC SERVICES OBJECTIVES
To add required capacity to its HVAC system, while achieving the energy and cost savings available from the application of leading-edge technology.
In 2006, Mesa provided the University of LaVerne with an HVAC solution designed to meet both current and future needs. That mechanical construction services project, which involved 10 buildings, included replacing 45 existing rooftop air conditioning units with chilled water air-handling units, installing a high-efficiency modular central plant, and putting in an underground chilled water piping distribution system capable of handling future growth. While the initial installation was to include two 400-ton industrial chillers, the client decided to install only one and add the other later. Recently, the installed chiller suffered a refrigerant leak that put it out of operation for eight days, necessitating a costly chiller rental.
This precipitated a re-evaluation of the situation in light of new, more energy efficient technologies. Furthermore, the single industrial chiller was running at near capacity, and the client was about to add its new Abrahams Campus Center, which would require 160 tons of additional capacity. To address this situation, Mesa developed an innovative configuration that incorporates several of today's most advanced compressor and control technologies. As a bonus benefit, this chiller design/build solution's energy efficiencies qualify it for $15,000 to $20,000 in rebates from Southern California Edison.
To address the need for added capacity, the company supplemented the current 400-ton chiller with a Smardt Chiller and Optimum Loop technology. This chiller strategy offers several advantages. The chiller's three 130-ton state-of-the-art Turbocor compressors provide ample redundancy to meet maintenance and emergency requirements. Furthermore, the compressors' built-in variable frequency drives (VFD) can operate at capacities as low as 30 tons without adverse affects. This means that, rather than having to operate at full capacity all the time, they can conveniently adjust to reduced requirements.
The Optimum Loop network-based control technology adds a new dimension to variable speed chiller plant operations by taking advantage of the exclusive characteristics of variable-speed pumps, chillers and fans. This technology measures the kilowatt hour (KWH) needs and consumption of plant equipment, and then matches chilled water supply to demand by controlling pump and chiller speeds, producing only as much chilled water as required. This capability has reduced the University of LaVerne's plant KWH consumption by 40 percent.
To further enhance the commercial heating and cooling system, Mesa installed a direct digital control (DDC) system with graphics for fully automatic switchover and monitoring. The 24/7/365 monitoring capability includes a real-time display that shows continuous per hour and per month KWH, CO2 and dollar savings. In addition, should performance drop below a pre-determined level, the building controls system alerts operators, so they can immediately make appropriate adjustments, eliminating prolonged loss of savings.
To enable all of this to work together as planned, the company had to successfully perform a range of diverse tasks. These included adding new iron foundation bracing, rigging the new chiller into the existing module, providing 480-volt power for the new chiller, and running new condenser and chilled water piping to the chiller. The company also installed the automatic isolation valves required by the two chillers, as well as two VFD drives with controls on the condenser water pumps. To accommodate the Optimum Loop technology, the company converted the pumping loop from primary/secondary to variable/primary. Finally, to complete the mechanical construction project, the firm oversaw the industrial chiller service start-up and tested it for maximum performance.
This conversion to an all variable flow central plant with Optimum Loop and a new Turbocor Chiller installation allows the central plant to ramp up and down proportionally to the cooling load of the campus. The DDC controls system combined with the central plant results in a totally integrated campus wide HVAC system. The net result is optimal energy services performance combined with remote access for trouble shooting and campus monitoring. Additionally, the Andover Controls System is providing integrated card access and CCTV so the campus monitors both HVAC and Security from the same terminal.
Mesa's involvement with the University of LaVerne began in 2005, when the company provided maintenance services to the school. As a result of Mesa's extensive expertise and consistently responsive customer care during that period, the client requested for HVAC retrofit and upgrade services to a more modern and advanced heating and cooling equipment. This request resulted in recommendation and installation of the current modular system. The industrial chiller expansion has confirmed the client's initial confidence in the company's ability to meet its most demanding expectations.
Consequently, the university has now asked Mesa to help plan and implement its 10-year building program. This work began with a survey and assessment of all current campus buildings. The company will now use its extensive mechanical systems and energy services expertise to develop innovative HVAC design/build and mechanical construction solutions that will enable reliable, high-performance facility operation, maximum energy efficiency and cost savings, and an optimum return on the client's facilities investment.
EDUCATION FACILITY BACKGROUND
Located in Southern California, the University of LaVerne has an endowment of nearly $30 million and total assets of approximately $100 million, a full-time faculty and staff of 591, and a student body of 7,646 at the school's eight California campuses. In addition to its College of Arts & Sciences, it has a College of Business and Public Management, College of Education and Organizational Leadership, and College of Law. Its Regional Campus Administration program has been a national leader for over 30 years in designing and delivering degree programs for working professionals.