This marks the first Memorial Day that the museum will be open, and that is due in large part to the work of Delta T Mechanical in Runnemede, NJ.
A REWARDING INSTALLATIONWhen the Homeport Alliance decided to reopen theU.S.S. New Jerseyas a museum, the ship needed a great deal of renovation and repair before it could be opened to the public. This included the replacement of a sea water-cooled air conditioning system that could no longer pump water back into the Delaware River.
Delta T Mechanical won the bid to replace the hvac system on the ship in August 2001, and was given a 60-day time frame to complete the work. Sam Perez and Mark Davi of Delta T were in charge of the installation, which included over 100 workers.
Four new Carrier 30HXC water-cooled chillers, six pumps, a cooling tower, and full pump controls were brought on to the ship and integrated into the original ductwork. Also, the existing steam coils were replaced with electric heat and insulation was added to all the original ductwork and pipework.
Another obstacle involved moving the equipment on board the U.S.S. New Jersey. The chillers had to be disassembled in order to get them onto the ship. Once on board, the chillers were reassembled and installed.
“There were a lot of people working on the ship at one time,” said Perez. “A lot of trades were working in very tight quarters.” This included welders, painters, electricians, and hvac technicians. Once one trade was finished in an area, another trade would move in and start working.
Mechanical systems also had to be installed in tight quarters. Old closets were converted into mechanical rooms and other areas of the ship that were once closed off needed to be reopened in order to finish certain installations.
And on top of all of these challenges, workers from Delta T Mechanical and the other firms hired for the job needed to make sure that the ship remained true to its original design.
“We had to install modern-day products and still finish with a look that is the same as the original,” said Perez. For example, renovated ductwork needed to capture the authenticity of the ship’s original ductwork.
A SENSE OF PRIDEDelta T Mechanical was able to finish the bulk of the job for the museum’s October 2001 debut. The museum is expecting thousands of visitors throughout the year, and in September 2002, 1,200 members of the Battleship New Jersey Veterans Inc. organization will hold its 15th annual reunion on the ship.
Perez says that an unbelievable number of people have come out to explore the battleship.
“It was a thing of pride,” said Perez about the installation. “The challenges were astonishing, but we’ve never had a project with this much energy. It was a real work of art.”
Publication date: 05/27/2002