Wartburg is a 230-bed nursing home located in Brooklyn, New York. It offers a wide array of social services from two adjacent buildings surrounding a courtyard. It was clear from the outset that the best way to address the deteriorated state of the antiquated boiler rooms would be to start with a clean slate. This was an expensive proposition, but an Energy Concepts feasibility study projected large gains in operational efficiencies by installing the CHP plant. The efficiency gains generated the cash flow that allowed management to finance a new HVAC plant.
Instead of two boiler rooms, the new CHP and HVAC system are housed in a central plant, saving space and labor. Three CHP modules with a combined output of 225kW supply electricity to the buildings. A digital control system manages output to follow demand for optimal operation, and on most days the facility imports less than 5% from the grid. Three large-capacity insulated water tanks provide thermal storage. A small gas boiler to supplement the generators on the coldest days and a new electrical service completed the scope.
Faxton St. Luke’s Healthcare is a regional medical center in Utica, New York. The center’s campus comprises of a large hospital, a nursing facility and several administrative and out-patient facilities. It is located in close proximity to Utica College.
The CHP plant features Cummings gas-fired cogeneration sets. The plant supplies its thermal output to a central steam plant. The electrical output is allocated to the 3 adjacent entities – 2.2MW to the main hospital building, 1.1MW to Utica College, and 330 kW to the nursing and rehabilitation center.
The plant is capable of selling electricity to the grid, and will be able to provide back-up power in case of a grid failure. The plant received about $1 million in grants from NYSERDA.
The Red Hook Stores was originally built as a 400,000 SF granary on the New York waterfront before the civil war. By the 1980’s most shipping left New York for larger facilities in New Jersey, and then the empty facility fell into disrepair.
After four years of intensive renovation, the 150 year old building was reborn as a seven-story mixed-use complex. The two bottom floors are home to New York’s Fairway market. The two floors above are offices and the remaining floors are high-end residences.
Energy Concepts worked closely with the developer, architect and main commercial tenant to design the optimal system for the building. The result is a state of the art HVAC system centered around an ultra-efficient 1MW cogeneration plant.The engineering scope included a new electrical service, an 8,000 Btu boiler plant, and XX 300 ton absorption chillers. The CHP generators, boilers and absorbers are housed in an unobtrusive remote structure for easy maintenance.The innovation extended to the financial aspect of the project as well. The integrated CHP/HVAC plant has been structured and is operated as a standalone business entity. Its electricity, heating and cooling output is metered and sold to the tenants, generating significant cash flow.
The Red Hook Stores serve notice that there’s no conflict between enterprise and the environment. When done with creativity and innovation, environmentally responsible development yields benefits for the bottom line and the planet.
Hudson Valley Community College (HVCC), located in Troy, New York, is part of the SUNY system. Its 90-acre campus serves 13,500 students, offering over 70 degree and certificate programs in Business, Engineering, Health Sciences, and Liberal Arts. The campus houses large community facilities – the McDonough Sports Complex, the Conway Ice Rink and a 34,500 sq. ft. of exhibition space.
As part of its drive to reduce energy costs and carbon footprint, HVCC built an efficient and novel 6.5MW combined heat & power plant that uses methane gas from a nearby landfill. Methane is produced during the decomposition of trash, and is an especially damaging greenhouse gas. In most municipal landfills, methane is either flared or vented into the atmosphere. The environmental benefit of the HVCC plant is twofold – it is very efficient and it also provides a far cleaner way to consume the methane before it impacts the atmosphere.
The methane is transported from the landfill via a 3,100-foot pipeline buried along the outskirts of the campus. Once at the plant, it is mixed with natural gas to facilitate a clean, complete and odorless combustion process. The plant consists of five Caterpillar generators. Three CHP units are rated at 825kW, 1,350kW and 770kW. Their hot water output is used for space heating and domestic hot water. Two additional generators rated at 1,350kW (gas) and 2,250kW (diesel) provide backup power capability.
HVCC pays for the methane, providing a source of income for the city of Troy.
According to the EPA the project reduces greenhouse gas emissions equal to removing 36,000 cars from the roadways annually.
HVCC plans to use the facility as part of its Plant Utilities Technology program, where students will gain valuable first-hand experience and training as future plant operators.
The Toren is the most environmentally advanced large residential building in New York, and perhaps the US. This 37 story, 263,750 sq. ft. high-rise consisted of 240 apartments and commercial units. It was developed by BFC Partnership, and designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill. BFC and SOM turned to Energy Concepts to design an innovative space conditioning system that would not interfere with the floor-to-ceiling glass envelope, while using the least amount of energy. The result are apartments that feature breathtaking views of NY Harbor and a LEED Gold certification.
At the heart of the building’s mechanical system is a super-efficient, ultra-clean 500kW tri-generation plant. The gas–fired plant generates electricity, heating and cooling, and is capable of providing back up power during blackouts. The plant’s remarkable efficiency results in reducing the building’s carbon footprint by almost 1,000 tons of CO2 a year, and annual energy cost savings of $540,000. The plant is operated as a stand-alone business entity, and its output is metered and sold to the condos. The Toren’s power plant features five Tecogen InVerde100 units. This inverter-based cogeneration unit is grid-connected yet is able to keep operating in “Island Mode” to supply power during blackouts.
4C Foods is a food processing and manufacturing company in Brooklyn, NY. Their acclaimed grated cheeses, bread crumbs and other gourmet products are stocked by retailers nation-wide. It takes a lot of energy to make ingredients that kick things up a notch, and in NY City, energy is exceptionally expensive. Deploying cogeneration brings about dramatic savings, generates cash flow and improves competitiveness. The cogeneration system we designed for 4C Foods consists of one 80kW and two 150 kW Coastintelligen® cogeneration units serving two separate electrical services. Recovered waste heat in the form of hot water is used for space and process heating applications. The waste heat is also used to drive absorption chillers to produce chilled water for supplemental air conditioning. The plant was pre-assembled and shipped to 4C Foods in a factory pre-wired and pre-piped sound attenuated enclosure. This simplified and reduced installation costs. The heat recovery and exhaust accessories were field-assembled and piped on the roof of the cogeneration enclosure.
Harbec Plastics produces highly engineered, precision plastic parts for the medical, automotive, consumer goods and other industries. The CHP plant we designed for Harbec is the first of its kind in NY State, and among the first in the world. The system consists of an array of 25 ultra-low-emission 30 kW Capstone Micro Turbines producing high-quality uninterrupted power. Heat recovered from 20 of the units powers radiant floor heating in the warehouse, drives an absorption chiller and provides additional space heating. The CHP plant reduces Harbec’s net energy cost by over 30%, ensures production continuity and lowers its environmental impact.
Facing rapidly rising energy costs, the K-12 Fonda-Fultonville Central School District in Fonda, New York, installed a 1.3MW combined heat and power system to power the school campus. This was the first grid–independent cogeneration project in New York state and today provides all the electricity, space heating and cooling needed for the 300,000 sq. ft. facility. The CHP system consists of four Cummins 334kW lean-burn natural gas engine generator sets, each with hot water recovery equipment that collects waste heat from the engine exhaust. In the winter, the generators provide electricity and the exhaust heat provides space heating for the campus. In warmer months, the system provides electricity and powers a 200-ton electric chiller and 200-ton absorption chiller for air conditioning.
Arrow Linen is a commercial laundry in Brooklyn, NY. Every day, Arrow’s employees launder tons of table linens and uniforms for New York’s hotels and restaurants. It takes a lot of energy to turn soiled and grimy into spotless and tidy. In NY City, this energy is exceptionally expensive. Arrow Linen is using cogeneration to dramatically reduce operating costs and improve competitiveness.
The CHP plant we designed for Arrow Linen is built around two Coast Intelligen units of 150kW each. These are low emission natural gas–fired engine sets, with induction generators. Waste heat is recovered as hot water. This waste heat is used to preheat make–up water for the domestic hot water tanks and steam boilers (offsetting existing gas usage). The savings generated by the CHP plant financed several long–deferred capital projects. Among these is a complete electric service upgrade that included proper connection of the CHP power. A micro-processor controlled utility parallel system was installed to meet ConEd interconnection guidelines. The CHP plant is situated on the roof of the building. Since Arrow Linen is located in an upscale residential neighborhood, this necessitated sophisticated sound attenuation. This clean and quiet plant demonstrates that distributed generation can be integrated into a densely populated urban neighborhood.Energy Concepts is an engineering firm with a singular commitment: To maximize energy efficiency in our clients’ facilities. With over 60 CHP (Combined Heat & Power) plants, we are the leader in planning, design, permitting, commissioning and upkeep of on-site CHP plants. Our plants range from 150kW to 10MW and include gas-fueled engines, fuel cells and microturbines.
How long will a CHP plant operate? This question comes up routinely. The answer is simple– for as long as the CHP plant is properly maintained. Case in point– the CHP plant at Clifton Springs Hospital. First commissioned in 1994, it has been in continuous 24/7 operation since. This plant in a mission–critical setting delivers 99% overall availability, 365 days per year. Thermal output is used to heat the hospital and run a central absorption chiller of 300 tons. System efficiency is between 85% to 90%. Of special note is the fact the plant is located above an operation theater, and has to be especially quiet and vibration-free.