Cal State Fullerton is helping keep its students, faculty and staff cooler this summer and making the University more energy efficient — with the installation of a new chiller and autoclaves — all part of a project that will address increasing demand and update an aging system.
The chiller loop upgrade expansion project began in December and was most visible as pipes were laid underground in the lawn area west of the Engineering and Computer Science complex.
“The new 1,200-ton centrifugal chiller is designed to operate during the day when cooling demand is high and use energy generated by our solar panel system located across campus,” noted Dave Ostrowski, building services engineering supervisor in facilities management.
The project involved an upgrade of the central plant, including removal of two steam boilers, and the installation of new autoclaves that generate their own steam in both McCarthy and Dan Black halls’ laboratories.
“The old autoclave units consumed large amounts of energy and water around the clock, even when not in use,” explained Phil Berriman, instrumentation technician in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. “The new units are research-grade and require energy and water only during operation and are expected to use 81 percent less energy and 93 percent less water, according to a study in Laboratory Design magazine.”
The project will be completed in time for fall classes.