Project Files: Episode 28 — Flanders Hotel
In New Jersey, summer’s rite of passage is to pack up and head for the shore. For those looking for a luxury retreat overlooking the Atlantic in Ocean City, staying at the Flanders Hotel just got even cooler. The hotel recently completed more than $10 million in renovations, revamping almost every portion of the hotel and adding 21 new suites, including 5 new million-dollar penthouses on the roof.
However, for the Flanders Hotel, this expansion created major issues for the building's cooling tower, which was now undersized and at the end of its service life. The old metal-clad tower struggled to provide the needed cooling to allow the air conditioning system to fully cool the 117 luxury multi-room suites. The hotel was getting complaints about the lack of a/c in many of the rooms — and some of those guests were spending up to $1,400 a night for the penthouses
However, replacing the metal tower with another, larger metal tower would have only created the same problems all over again — and would have required the hotel would to be almost entirely re-piped, going from 4-inch pipe up to 6-inch.
Instead, hotel management selected a metal tower alternative constructed out of high-density polyethylene, or HDPE. Pioneered by Delta Cooling Towers in the 1970s, the engineered plastic towers are impervious to corrosive environments and require fewer expensive water treatment chemicals, as well as less downtime for repair or replacement. Plus, it could employ a novel solution that would allow the return temperatures from the cooling towers to fall within the allotted temperature range so the building would not need to be re-piped.
The hotel selected Delta's Paragon induced-draft, counter-flow cooling tower design with 250 cooling tons. Not only does the new tower design maximize cooling, but its direct-drive air moving system includes a variable-frequency drive fan motor that provides significant cost savings on electricity.
The Flanders Hotel had the tower installed just before Memorial Day, and for the first time in a long time, all the rooms, from the ground floor to the penthouses, were very cool. Guests could tell the difference immediately, and the hotel is expecting to increase summertime reservations as a result.