International Guests Tour Utility Facilities As Part of ASHRAE 2020 Winter Conference

February 27, 2020

On February 3rd, Utilities and Energy Services hosted 70 industry and technical experts, doctors, and professional engineers from across the globe for a technical tour of the utility production facilities in conjunction with the 2020 ASHRAE Winter Conference. Tour attendees were previewed to District Energy Plant I, District Energy Plant IV, and the Combined Heat and Power Plant.

District Energy Plant I is the oldest building and first chilled water production plant on the UCF campus. It features four, 2-Ton centrifugal chillers spinning at 1,800 rpm that are utilized for indoor comfort cooling and equipment cooling. The outdoor cooling tower yard transfer the heat to the condenser and releases it as latent heat.

District Energy Plant IV is built to function both as a chilled water plant, with capacity for 8,000 refrigeration tons, and as a hands-on teaching tool. With this in mind, educational features include color-coded pipes to better exhibit the facility’s functions to students, and data collection from the building that can be used in various courses and student projects. This LEED v4 Gold facility boasts more modern, energy-efficient cooling towers, reducing its total cost of operation by 33 percent, and will operates as a heat-production plant for UCF’s Research 1 building.

The Chilled Heat and Power Plant features a Mitsubshi engine, the first of its kind in the Americas, that has 18 cylinders operating 24 hours a day. The engine is fed natural gas that supplies 5.5 megawatts originally sized to meet a third of the campus energy demand at a cleaner, lower cost. It is 75-80% more efficient than a conventional power plant and reduces greenhouse gas emissions by an estimated 30%. The 9,586 metric tons of carbon dioxide that the plant deters from entering the atmosphere is the same as taking 1,880 cars off the road. Water exiting the cooling engine flows to the heat exchanger with accompanying waste heat energy. This energy is recaptured and converted to refrigerant to be fed into our chilled water loop used for UCF’s air conditioning.

ASHRAE, founded in 1894, is a global society advancing human well-being through sustainable technology for the built environment. The Society and its members focus on building systems, energy efficiency, indoor air quality, refrigeration and sustainability within the industry. Through research, standards writing, publishing and continuing education, ASHRAE shapes tomorrow’s built environment today.