Upgrade Central Plant
The old chiller plant provided 1,350 tons of total cooling capacity. Once the renovation is completed, the new plant will provide an improved cooling capacity of 2,200 tons with an anticipated increase in efficiency of approximately 40 percent over the old chiller plant. The new cooling towers are constructed of stainless steel, which double the service life when compared to the typical galvanized cooling towers. The new chillers are state-of-the-art in efficiency with variable speed drives, providing the ability to control cooling capacity and load with maximum energy efficiency. In addition, all pumps and cooling tower fans will be controlled through variable frequency drives, maximizing their respective operating points with campus demand. The Renovation Project also includes the installation of a plate and frame heat exchanger to provide cooling in the winter months without operating the chillers; this is known as a water-side economizer, intended to provide free cooling for approximately 2.5 months each year. Arizona Public Service (APS) provides rebates for upgrading mechanical systems to new systems that incorporate the most efficient equipment available. PVCC will apply for a rebate of approximately $100,000 through this program.
The scope of work includes new chilled water lines from the center of the campus mall to the new Life Sciences building, extending new lines from the Life Sciences building to F Building (Fitness Center), and adding lines from F Building to the new Q Building (formerly the Campbell Library). This will provide additional cooling capacity for the Fitness Center, as well as allow Q Building to be served from the college's central plant, a much more efficient situation than the small stand-alone plant which originally served the library
When the old chillers were removed, they were relocated to other campuses within the Maricopa Community College District, where they serve as backup units. Maricopa County Community College District Purchasing publicly advertised the bid call and received four proposals on March 5, 2008. Premier Mechanical Corporation submitted the low cost proposal.
Facilities Director David Matus adds that as the college looks towards future campus renovations the infrastructure for the new Central Plant is designed to permit equipment upgrades that may increase cooling capacity to 3,000 tons without major impact and pipe extensions for PVCC buildings are constructed in preparation for buildings from future bond programs.