Project Lead: Sara Shirazi
Sponsor: Physical Plant- Campus Services
TGIF Grant: $10,216
Project Theme: Energy Efficiency and Conservation
Project Description: Cooling towers are mechanical systems integral to the operation of Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration (HVACR) systems. Cool Towers will hire two student associates to assist PP-CS in the development of a comprehensive cooling tower inventory. The students will identify system type, controls, water treatment type, and chemical usage, as well as an indication of overall water usage, strainer and basin health of the cooling towers. PP-CS will use the data to identify water and energy conservation opportunities and develop a campus-wide standard for future cooling tower installations and retrofits.
Project Goals: Once field data has been collected, the team will work with PP-CS to identify water and energy conservation opportunities. This includes performing lifecycle analyses on case alternatives as well as working with vendors to develop cost estimates. It is also the intent of this project that a campus-wide standard can be developed so all future cooling tower installations and retrofits will be able to use a “Cool Towers” standard, one that is enforceable by PP-CS Engineering Services and Energy Office.
With a campus of over 100 buildings and 17 million square feet of floor space, UC Berkeley faces a significant heating and cooling demand. While heating relies on a central steam system, cooling requires an individual system in each building. Unfortunately, this leads large-scale cooling systems to be costly, difficult to maintain, and energy inefficient.