Early in 2020, our Facilities teams had the opportunity to work together to enhance an existing maintenance project. While the maintenance work conducted by Building Operations was underway to replace the chiller at Chemistry E Block, North Wing, our team in Energy & Water Services identified an opportunity to install heat recovery coils in the two main air handling units in the basement to provide more efficient space heating in the building.
These heat recovery coils would connect into the chiller’s condenser water loop, providing a first stage of heat into the supply airstreams in the building. This would provide the dual benefits of reducing the heat rejection required by the rooftop cooling tower, and make use of that energy for heating spaces in the building.
The heat recovery coils were installed in the summer of 2021, with commissioning complete near the end of September. The coils consistently provide roughly 70kW of heat recovery, which can be seen when comparing the building’s actual thermal demand against a model. In the first four months of their operation, the coils have saved roughly 460GJ of thermal energy, on track for their predicted energy savings of roughly 1200 GJ and $14,000 in energy costs per year. While the energy savings are modest, this project remains an excellent example of teamwork between the various groups in the Facilities portfolio.