Since 2009, chilled water production has been increasing capacity at the main campus central energy plants. The four utility plants, combined with the CHP’s absorption chiller on campus, produce and deliver over 37,000,000 ton-hours of cooling annually to campus facilities. The use of centrally located plants benefits UCF by reducing building energy consumption and eliminating less efficient stand-alone cooling at each of the campus buildings. Currently, a majority of our main campus square footage is served by the district cooling loop. The remaining square footage is supported by stand-alone chilled water systems, direct expansion, and ground source heat pumps.
Through capital renewal, UES has also focused on a phase out and reduction of stratospheric ozone depleting refrigerants with our centralized district cooling plants. We no longer use any chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) based refrigerants in our central energy plants. CFC’s contribute to the depletion of the stratospheric ozone layer, which is linked to many human health problems.
The thermal energy storage tank (TES) was brought online in October 2010. The TES reduces energy use by taking advantage of cooler ambient conditions at nighttime and running chillers at their optimum conditions. By shifting 2 MW of load from peak to off peak, this energy project reduces approximately 40% of the peak demand for cooling, contributing an average of $320,000 savings annually.
District Energy Plant IV engages UCF’s core mission of education and research through the creative ingenuity to use the grounds as a teaching tool. Each pipe jacket insulation is color-coded to garner a better understanding of the evaporative cooling process. With close proximity to the College of Engineering, DEP IV’s technologies can be integrated into engineering and science courses, senior design projects, and even involve the multidisciplinary Faculty Clusters with actual real-time data.