CALMAC Thermal Energy Storage Creates a Cool Canvas at Sierra College
The Campus Center has been around since the early 1970s, but due to its loud chillers, no one would stay around the Center. New quiet ice storage tanks placed in the Center transformed it into a barbecue picnic area. Sierra College was determined to install a cooling system that created a more favorable educational environment for staff and students, while being reliable, simple, and cost effective. The tanks use less electricity during more expensive peak hours, which was a major selling point for the college. From noon to 5 o’clock each day, the engineering department can shut off almost the entire cooling load, yet still ensure the buildings are comfortable.
Dan Brown, energy tech lead at Sierra College, doesn’t have any complaints so far. “Very, very simple. The design is simple, the installation was simple. Other systems have all sorts of change-over valves, making it difficult to put the pieces together. We were able to install the CALMAC system ourselves — just a few of us on the energy crew. We did everything but the concrete pour and insulation.”
Since installed, there has been a reduction in electricity cost and a partial shift of the cooling load at the Campus Center during the day. This has provided a more efficient cooling process for the campus by charging the ice storage tanks at night using less expensive night-time energy and cooling the building during the day with energy storage. Any kilowatt reduction made during peak time can save on PG&E rates and, in turn, save on costs.
“It’s all been positive with CALMAC. The tanks work well and the quality is exceptional. You can install them and forget them. The tanks quiet the place down. It’s like a sound barrier,” explained Brown. “Selecting CALMAC was easy. They have perfected the system and provide exceptional technical support with merely a quick phone call. We had seen how successful a neighboring high school in Auburn, Calif., had been using CALMAC’s cooling system for nearly 15 years. It was truly an easy decision.”
LP Consulting Engineers has been successful in installing many ice thermal storage systems on campuses and facilities in the area. Steve Zagyi, P.E., senior project manager, said, “Sierra College has been a great client to work with throughout the project. This plant, as well as two others, was in need of replacement. After determining the chilled water load profiles and reviewing electric utility rates, modeling of the system showed off peak cooling was a great candidate to save even more energy. The installation has proven to have an economic benefit as well as environmental and health benefits for the students and staff on campus.”
“We are so excited to see our tanks being used in such an unconventional way by students. Although the purposes of these tanks are to create savings and offer efficient operation with minimal maintenance, it is amazing to see people using them for creative expression,” said Mark MacCracken, CEO of CALMAC.
For more information, visit www.calmac.com.
Publication date: 12/17/2012