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  1. #1
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    Military Base Survey

    I put this up as a place holder for now and throw up a few pictures tonight. I did a walk through of several buildings on a military base over the past two days. This was supposed to be part of an energy retrofit and with the final goal of getting rid of the central utility plant. The plant is old enough that quite a bit of the under ground piping is needing replacement. Were talking miles of piping. This particular plant uses 300 plus degree water at high pressure(super heated hot water). I consider it dangerous as hell. I was at one of the buildings that was under construction and a guy knocked over a piece of pipe and busted off a gauge. Well once this system loses pressure it flashes to steam. In this case everbody made it out of the mech room but it evacuted the whole building and brought in the fire department. I honestly feel safer around high pressure steam than this superheated hot water. Many of these buildings mech systems are in rough shape.

    Well after 2 days of walking around I will share some pictures of mainly the controls of some buildings. I'm a control guy so thats what interest me most. The first day I didn't take my camera and didn't start taking pictures until half way through the second. The buildings range from late 70's to a couple year old installations.

    Building 1

    Here's when I couldn't take it any more and started taking pictures. This unit has an 06 serial number but I suspect it was installed some time in 07. This is a 40 to 50 ton condensing unit thats serves whole building. Two stories and shaped like and L that the best I can tell is a single zone. Suspect the original design from the 60's but equipment and controls replaced in the mid to late 90's with the brand new condensing unit.



    Notice the wires coiled up it the lower left. Those wires are disconected and the wires coming from the controls located in the building. Also notice the transformer sitting there. It has nietehr the line or load hooked up. I also like the blue wires pulled off the factory teminal strip at the top and taped to the white wires flown to the terminal strip on the bottom.



    Also complete with gator clipped jumper wires.

    Here's a couple pics of the control panel that may or may not be controlling the system at this point. I'm sure it didn't start out looking like this.





    Here's some of whats left of the control wiring on the side of the unit.



    Heres the return fans starter. This is a three phase fan but notice the three phase starter and the missing center pole one the contactor.



    Two things that I also remember about this building that I didn't get pictures of.
    1. The hot water coil was not hooked up and the valve was missing. Was told its been like that for atleast 2 years.
    2. The supply fan starter had parallel #8 on the load side. If I remember the elec code correctly you can't do parallel feeders under the 1/0 wire size.

    Here is another picture I took to show the general state of the mech room.

    Last edited by willf650; 04-24-2008 at 08:51 PM.

  2. #2
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    place holder

  3. #3
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    place holder 2

  4. #4
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    place holder 3

  5. #5
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    Right on, keep them coming, I enjoy seeing stuff like this, thanks.
    This space for rent.

  6. #6
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    chop chop snip snip throw in out in the ditch

  7. #7
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    I'm afraid that you will find work like this on all military posts. Fort Hood is just minutes away from my classroom and several of my students work for the various companies that maintain some of the equipment. The horror stories they tell me every day makes me glad that I teach. A lot of the work is contracted. All to the lowest bidder, the bean and bullet counters only know if hot or cold air comes out of the grilles, so QA and QC is out of the picture. The senior "techs" (and I am using that term loosely) have no idea of what is going on or how something operates. One of the personnel hiring offices in town was looking for some one with a Universal EPA certification, because they thought it meant that the person knew everything there was to know about chillers and boilers to include controls. I'll ask some of my students to start taking pictures of the hack work that they see on a daily basis.

  8. #8
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    Well I thought I could go back and update my place holder posts but the edit function is no longer available.

    Building 2

    Most of the controls in the hanger for the big unit heaters were intact. Probably because they consited of just a pneumatic stat and 2 pe's. Here's a picture of a new control panel maybe 3-4 years old. I guess they couldn't figure it out. Because the added Honeywell pneumatic controller is controlling the HW valve and nothing is controlling the mixing box any more.



    And heres what is controlling atleast the DX unit at this point.



    Here's a picture of what is controlling a large hitemp heat exchanger with 60 hp supply pumps.



    Once again I know this panel didn't start out like but you see the gray Honeywell pneumatic controller. In probably 60+% of the mechanical rooms we looked at had the original hitemp heat exchanger controlls disconected with plastic pneumatic flying accross the room with one those controllers wire tied to a pipe.

    Got a few more pics for later. If I took pics of everything I saw that could go on this board I could have filled a 4 gig memory card.

    They are supposed to be trying to save energy but at this site I saw three pretty big dual duct systems still in use. Can't think of a worse energy wasting system than that. Throw in some multi zones as well.
    Last edited by willf650; 04-26-2008 at 10:26 AM.

  9. #9
    John Culpepper's Avatar
    John Culpepper is offline CHANGE YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS Professional Member*
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    On your first post was that a Trane condenser?
    Nemo me impune lacessit.

    How much blood do I have to bathe in to get clean?

    Don't look down on anyone unless you're helping them up.

  10. #10
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    Well heres a few more photos.

    Typical, devices missing and wires spliced together in their place.



    More air lines ripped out and capped



    Another pneumatic panel with the majority of the guts removed.



    This one still has some of the guts.



    Heres a weird multi zone. Half the zones were pneumatic and half electric.



    Heres the coil on the multi zone. Had a new condensing unit on the other end. See any problems.



    I believe all these photos came from maybe four buildings but every building was pretty much the same.
    Last edited by willf650; 04-29-2008 at 06:02 PM.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Culpepper View Post
    On your first post was that a Trane condenser?

    Yes

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by gas1 View Post
    chop chop snip snip throw in out in the ditch
    No doubt. A couple of modern solid state circuit boards could replace much that I'd think.

    Great stuff though. Never seen high pressure hot water stuff before.
    They must be maintaining high enough pressure to keep the water in liquid form at 300 degrees.

    What pressure does it maintain?
    True Heavy Metal Geek

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by PaysonHVAC View Post
    Great stuff though. Never seen high pressure hot water stuff before.
    They must be maintaining high enough pressure to keep the water in liquid form at 300 degrees.

    What pressure does it maintain?

    250+

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