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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    540

    Interesting plant setup

    I went and looked at a chiller plant in an uptown condo in the high rent district of Miami Beach on Friday. My company wanted it evaluated to see if we wanted to take it under contract. The plant contains a three year old R-123 YTG and a 1991 R-11 YTD that share one chilled water pump, one condenser pump, one cooling tower and one breaker! The building has gone through at least 4 property management companies in as many years, with the present company only there a month. The YTG was running and no one knows when the last time the older machine ran. They wanted it checked out to see if it could run to be used as a backup. Other than being full of air with a nasty leak at the rupture disk flange, which was so corroded it looked like it was ready to snap off, it was actually in fairly good shape. I'm going to go back next week some time and repair the leak and see if I can fire it up, but only after they have an electrician come out and give them an estimate to put it on it's own breaker. Then we're going to sell them a repiping job and two new pumps to get some true redundancy out of the system.

    It just blows my mind that it was ever set up like that and passed inspections. The only thing I've ever seen that was close is a chiller plant at a hospital with two chillers and one power supply. But there they used an emergengy power style transfer switch with an interlock to make sure only one chiller could run at a time. Anyone ever seen anything like this before?
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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    windy city
    Posts
    4,430
    Quote Originally Posted by ChillerWisperer View Post
    I went and looked at a chiller plant in an uptown condo in the high rent district of Miami Beach on Friday. My company wanted it evaluated to see if we wanted to take it under contract. The plant contains a three year old R-123 YTG and a 1991 R-11 YTD that share one chilled water pump, one condenser pump, one cooling tower and one breaker! The building has gone through at least 4 property management companies in as many years, with the present company only there a month. The YTG was running and no one knows when the last time the older machine ran. They wanted it checked out to see if it could run to be used as a backup. Other than being full of air with a nasty leak at the rupture disk flange, which was so corroded it looked like it was ready to snap off, it was actually in fairly good shape. I'm going to go back next week some time and repair the leak and see if I can fire it up, but only after they have an electrician come out and give them an estimate to put it on it's own breaker. Then we're going to sell them a repiping job and two new pumps to get some true redundancy out of the system.

    It just blows my mind that it was ever set up like that and passed inspections. The only thing I've ever seen that was close is a chiller plant at a hospital with two chillers and one power supply. But there they used an emergengy power style transfer switch with an interlock to make sure only one chiller could run at a time. Anyone ever seen anything like this before?
    there's a government building here with (2) 19cb, '8' size motors (bouts 1200t), 480 across the line start , transfer switch between the starters, 1 disconnect

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Dixiana, AL
    Posts
    2,609
    Seen 1 or 2 similar to that. "Value Engineering". Amazing how some folks allow their money to be spent.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2000
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    4,990
    We have a setup like that around here. 2 chillers with 1 starter. One chiller has a CH530 the other a UCP2. Its redundant, but not easily. LMAO
    Your poor planning does not constitute an emergency on my part!!!!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2001
    Location
    Western Wa
    Posts
    1,831
    I know of two 1991 YTs still R-11 and pretty doggone tight, leakwise, and low speed thrust. They have the older version of the liquid cooled soft start. One even has the original seal. They just seem to be better off with the 11.
    God Bless our Veterans

    God Bless the USA

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Posts
    7,321
    not really, but my personal fave was a well known hotel chain which has a 500 tonnish centrif, an 1100 ton absorber, and a plate for free cooling. The train conductor(engineer) decided that the sequence was for free cooling to run based upon outdoor enthalpy, and calculated indoor load until the load crept up to about 300 tons, then the atc guys would flip open a hot water valve automatically introducing hot water at 240 degrees into the condenser loop to warm it up, and within twenty minutes start the centif. this was run until load was at 100 percent for fifteen minutes, then the absorber was started. WTF???? well, the plate was rated at 150 psig, and the building water systen pressure ran at about 140 psig. No relief on the condenser loop because it was "open", but the tower was like thirty floors above or so I forget. This only happened a few times per season, but it became pretty much a standard three day repair to go in, open the plate and frame, and reseat all of the gaskets that were forced out during "warmup" of the loop. We did this for thre seasons until they asked us to weld on the end plates of the plate and frame so they could "add extra bolts". Sorry, no we dont do that due to liability. They got some welding outfit to do it though.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Scranton Pa
    Posts
    24
    Quote Originally Posted by flange View Post
    The train conductor(engineer) decided that the sequence was for free cooling to run based upon outdoor enthalpy, and calculated indoor load until the load crept up to about 300 tons, then the atc guys would flip open a hot water valve automatically introducing hot water at 240 degrees into the condenser loop to warm it up, and within twenty minutes start the centif. this was run until load was at 100 percent for fifteen minutes, then the absorber was started. WTF???? .
    I cant even begin to make sense out of that. It's ridiculous but far from shocking. There's about 450 less convoluted and more effective ways to use a plate and frame. Did they have free summer steam from a Co Gen cycle or something that they where firing absorbers? Those things are dangerous.

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