The project includes the installation of ground source heat pump chilllers, construction of a geothermal loop, construction of well fields, and required modifications to building HVAC systems. This project will create three geothermal regional plants. The regional plants will be located in McNutt, Straumanis-James Hall, and the future James E. Bertelsmeyer Hall. Future regional plants include Toomey, Bullman Multi-Purpose, Interdisciplinary Engineering, and Residential College.
These plants will contain screw type heat recovery chillers and serve adjacent buildings with heating water through a new heating hot water distribution system. Supplemental boilers will be installed in the regional plant to provide first cost savings, peak load energy savings, balance of loads to the geothermal wells, and flexibility of energy usage. The heat recovery chillers will also be connected to the chilled water distribution system to provide the base cooling source. The chilled water distribution system will be modified and upgraded into a two pipe system. The system will reuse the existing electric chillers and cooling towers located on campus.
The benefits of regional plants include less equipment to maintain, running geothermal water only to the regional plants, longer equipment life of screw chillers compared to modular type, and taking advantage of load diversity between buildings.
To reduce piping costs and simplify phasing and growth of the geothermal campus system, each regional plant will be tied to a dedicated well field. (The well fields will not be connected to each other now, but the University will have the option to connect them at a later date.) The well fields will be sized to optimize the payback from utility cost savings.
Buildings that are not in the scope of the geothermal heating system under this project that currently receive steam from the power plant will be retrofitted with dedicated steam boilers until those buildings can be added to the future geothermal plants. This will be accomplished under a separate project.