Utility Master Planning & Design

Bucknell University Lewisburg, PA



We assisted Bucknell University with the master planning and conceptual design of the chilled water, steam, and electrical utilities on campus. With the University’s approval of the recommended design strategies, we then prepared construction documents for a new 3,500-ton central chilled water plant for the campus.

Solution Details

Chilled Water
The first phase of the chilled water plant installation included two 800-ton variable speed centrifugal chillers and cooling towers with variable speed drives. Provisions were made to add another chiller in the future as the campus expanded. The new system replaced the need for several absorption chillers on campus. A new three-story building was designed for the new variable speed chillers, pumps, and cooling tower. Chilled water distribution piping was designed to loop around the campus and be completed in phases. Several building absorption and electrical chillers were connected to the system to provide supplemental cooling; a central control system was installed for equipment operators to monitor and control the system. Evaluation of steam production from the facilities cogeneration plant and associated usage on campus dictates which chillers are operating on campus at any given time.

The second phase of the chilled water plant installation included a third chiller, an 850 ton unit, along with new pumps, cooling towers, and related piping and controls. An 850,000 gal. thermal storage tank was added to increase system capacity and reduce operating costs.

Electrical Distribution
The campus electrical distribution system was also upgraded. The design upgraded the system from 4,800V to 12,470V distribution, including new switchgear, transformers, and duct banks. New electrical switchgear was installed inside the power house, which in time will eliminate the existing outside switchgear. Lower campus saw similar distribution upgrades, and included new transformers for 6 buildings, modifying switching at the local substation, constructing new duct banks, vaults and load breaks, and upgrading the electrical distribution.

Steam Distribution
The campus steam system was upgraded with the extension of new 12-inch steam and 4-inch condensate pipes across campus to feed new and existing buildings.

What They Said

"I appreciate Entech’s ability to look at the big picture and simultaneously keep in mind the project objective and long-term needs of the University. They always avoid taking the short-sighted look at things."

-Director of Utilities

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50% reduction in campus cooling costs

2,450 tons of cooling capacity added

850k gal. thermal storage tank (TES)