A welder working on pipes

Tulane University

Physical Plant Infrastructure Renovation

Tulane University, founded in 1834, has grown to its present size of about 55 major buildings with new major buildings being added at about one per year. This growth has put incredible pressure on the university’s physical plant. Rising energy and labor maintenance costs exacerbated the situation causing great concern. As a result of Colorado’s E-Source report and recommendations, Tulane University contracted with Moses Engineers and Flack + Kurtz of New York to analyze E-Source’s recommendations. This resulted in ten new projects based on growth, future expansion and energy efficiencies. We added:

Controls: Campus Wide Energy Management System

Buildings: Hydronic Bridges and Demand Control Ventilation.
We installed hydronic bridges in each building’s chilled water system, allowing water to return to the building if water temperature is sufficiently low. To control the hydronic bridges, we installed new control points.

Central Plant: Chiller Replacement, Summer Boiler, Cooling Tower Ozone Water Treatment, Primary/Secondary Pumping Re-Arrangement, and Campus Chilled Water Piping Enhancement. To increase the central plant’s chilled water capacity, we replaced two 1,200 ton Trane chillers with two, more efficient 2,000 ton Carrier chillers.

Moses Engineers utilized variable speed pumping in-building auxiliary pumps installed to overcome building losses- e.g., pipes, control valves, and coils. The primary/secondary piping design used the existing five 200 hp primary pumps retrofitted with variable speed drives and dedicated them to the secondary system.

To eliminate high head chilled, we increased water pipe sizes by retrofitting the existing 16” supply and 16” return with a new 24” supply installed. The existing 16” supply and existing 16” return interconnected and dedicated to the return system. This scheme saved the University over $300,000 in installation and material costs.

Central plant control automation was part of the primary/secondary design. Start/stop control of the chillers via the control panel is now possible. Additional monitoring points were installed throughout the central plant to aid the plant operators. The variable speed secondary pumps were controlled inputs received from the buildings providing sufficient flow available to all buildings on campus.

After the work was completed, the systems were checked and approved by Moses/F&K. Tulane’s central plant has the ability to produce colder chilled water with chillers capable of handling higher differential temperatures. Tulane is now poised for the 21st Century.

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