In his experience portfolio prior to starting Beekman Point Engineering, Tony was the lead mechanical design engineer for a failing ground-coupled heat pump system for approximately 2700 square feet of classroom and common area of a 2007 LEED Platinum building.
The scope of the project was a mechanical investigation as to why the two water source heat pumps were failing and to provide a design to restore full operational capability.
Following a detailed site visit, data collection, and client interaction, Tony was able to determine the ground loop had become overburdened and required an additional heat rejection sink to fully function as designed due to high return water temperatures.
Two design options were proposed coupled with the advantages and disadvantages of each option. The first option was to use a dry-fluid cooler without a separate refrigeration loop. The attractiveness of this option included low energy consumption. However, this option was limited by high ambient temperatures. Subsequently, the client opted for the second option which was a packaged chiller with a controls option to turn off the vapor compression cycle during favorable ambient conditions.
Tony redesigned the entire piping system with the new packaged chiller and wrote the control sequences of operation for the new chiller and the updated system. The new design included a flushing procedure and additional bypass valves and air/dirt separators to remove any remaining debris in the system from the upgrade installation prior to system commissioning. Additionally, a new VFD powered centrifugal pump was specified and designed to provide for varying system demand while maintaining an energy conscious design.
Maintenance procedures and remote monitoring controls were also designed to provide Duke University a methodology of monitoring system performance, detecting equipment malfunctions, and detecting leaks in the ground loop.
Photo by Duke University Archives
Duke University Marine Lab