University boosts CHP efficiency

A new combined heat and power (CHP) project has been launched by the University of Minnesota in the US to renovate the Old Main Heating Plant building.

The century-old building in the Marcy-Holmes neighbourhood of Minneapolis is being refurbished to meet an increased demand for steam with the addition of new buildings on the campus.

Construction is due to begin in January and is expected to be complete by November 2016.

Replacing the original coal-fired boilers – many of the institution’s facilities are still running on boilers dating from the 1940s – will enable the university to meet its projected steam demand until 2028. A gas turbine and HRSG lie at the heart of the new CHP system while space for a possible future package boiler and a future chilled water plant will also be made available. In addition, a connection will be made to the Xcel Gopher electrical substation to allow an outlet for any excess power generated at the CHP plant.

The US$113 million project will reduce the University’s overall utility costs by up to $2 million each year, according to the university.

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