The College of New Jersey (TCNJ) needed an assessment of their major campus utilities to provide information and recommendations to align campus utilities with growth and changes outlined in their campus master plan. TCNJ’s master plan outlined 2.5M sqft of proposed additional space throughout the next 20 years. We assessed heating, cooling, electrical, stormwater, domestic water, wastewater, fire protection, and IT/Data campus utilities, providing information and recommendations to ensure the utilities are operating efficiently, reliably, and with proper capacity to serve the current and future campus demands.
Overall, the majority of the campus utility systems have adequate capacity to support the demands of the proposed master plan changes over the next 20 years. The assessment generated a total of $17.7M in project recommendations, the majority of which will maximize system operating efficiency as system demands change, and/or will resolve system deferred maintenance.
TCNJ utilizes a central steam plant and central chillers to provide heating, hot water, and cooling to the vast majority of their campus buildings. A 5.2mW cogeneration turbine provides steam year round that heats the buildings in the winter and runs chillers in the summer, while generating much of the campus’s electricity at the same time. Additional central boilers and chillers are also available to meet peak demands.
Overall, the central plants had proper capacity and were in good condition. The only area needing major improvements was the steam distribution system. All steam distribution systems will incur distribution losses naturally, but degraded piping, steam traps, and manholes contributed to excessive estimated steam distribution losses of 12,500pph. $6.1M in projects were recommended to reduce these losses. Reducing these losses will lower operating expenses year round, relying less on the additional boilers to produce steam, and get more steam from cogeneration to the buildings and chillers.
An operational recommendation was made to add a thermal energy storage (TES) tank, when additional buildings bring campus cooling demand above the current two steam powered chillers’ capacity, and an existing electric chiller would need to be run more frequently. The tank would allow the electric chiller to charge it overnight, when electric prices are the lowest, and the tank could provide enough chilled water capacity to only need operation of one steam powered chiller, running completely off of cogeneration steam.
Campus domestic water distribution capacity was adequate as designed, but mineral corrosion in piping from the period before 1970, when the campus utilized on-site well water, has reduced pipe diameters and pressure significantly, requiring booster pumps in some buildings. It was recommended that this affected pipe be replaced at a cost of $4.5M, to restore the capacity as designed and eliminate the need for booster pumps on new buildings.
The electrical distribution, fire protection, data, stormwater, and wastewater utilities for TCNJ were in good condition and had adequate capacity now and for planned growth. Minor recommendations were made for each system.