Energy Audit / Energy Center Renovation and Chiller Replacement

Richland Community College

Decatur, Illinois

Henneman Engineering conducted an Energy Audit and provided recommendations for an Energy Master Plan. The central plant provides heating and cooling for approximately 266,050 square feet of the RCC campus. The energy systems were assessed for variable heating and cooling loads during seasonal year, future growth of system demands, energy cost, and maintenance costs. The methodology used to determine which system would perform most effectively was:

The systems considered and compared for the RCC Energy Master Plan were conventional boiler and chiller systems, geothermal systems, solar powered systems, thermal energy storage systems, biomass systems and hybrid systems.

Following Henneman’s recommendations from the Energy Master Plan report, the existing Energy Center was renovated to allow the installation of two high efficiency nominal 400-ton electric centrifugal water cooled chillers and multiple condensing type hot water boilers. The chilled water supply and return headers was re-piped to allow more efficient operation of both the chiller and the distribution pumps. New cooling towers have remote sumps to provide quick start-up on warm days in late fall and early spring. 

The entire project was conceived with all phases and cutovers fully identified on the construction documents to allow installation of all new systems without down time.

Additionally, to ensure proper operation of the existing air handling units, Henneman reviewed and provided construction documents detailing controls and valve replacements required to allow the new Energy Center to be integrated into Richland’s overall HVAC system. The $1.8 million project will have a very quick payback funded by reduced energy costs. The area serviced by the Energy Center is 266,000 square feet.

Completion Date

Square Feet
266,000 square feet