TECHNICAL TOURS A, B AND C - Each tour will visit the University of Texas at Austin and Austin Energy (Chiller Plant II and Mueller Energy Center), and is limited to 53 individuals. Each bus will drop participants at the airport before returning to the hotel.
Friday, February 12, 2016
Breakfast and overview presentations -7:15 am – 8:30 am
Tours – A - 8:40 am – 1:00 pm; B &C 9:00 am – 1:00 pm
The University of Texas at Austin
The Carl J. Eckhardt Combined Heating and Power Complex is often described as the largest and most integrated microgrid in the U.S. The University of Texas at Austin campus features a Combined Heat and Power plant (CHP) with a 135 MW power capacity and 1.2 million lb/hr steam generation capacity. Peak load levels have reached 63 MW for power and 300,000 lb/hr for steam. The single largest electrical load on campus is the cooling system that provides 45,000 tons of air conditioning to the campus, which has reached a demand of 33,000 tons demand during peak hours. The Carl J. Eckhardt Combined Heating and Power Complex provides 100% of the electricity and heating for the university’s main campus. This includes 4 chilling stations and a 4 million gallon chilled water thermal storage tank that provides the cooling requirements for 18 million square feet. Connections to the City of Austin electrical grid exist only for emergency backup, providing the university independence in generating all utilities required for a campus the size of a small city.
District Cooling Plant II provides district cooling via thermal storage for the downtown Austin area. The thermal storage tanks allow Austin Energy to produce chilled water during off peak electric hours. The district cooling unit was created in 2001 as part of an incentive package for companies to build downtown instead of over the Barton Creek Watershed. The facility makes ice at night during off-peak hours, and allows for it to melt down during the day, as it is sent through the mostly-underground pipe infrastructure to clients, and makes its way back to the plant to continue the cycle. This redundant chilled water piping system helps offset nearly 15 megawatts of peak demand power on the hottest summer days, thanks to the late-night ice-making in each of the four plants.
The Mueller Energy Center will provide a look at the plant’s Combined Heat and Power technology which is used to generate steam from waste heat. The steam can be used to provide heating and power for the Dell Children’s Medical Center; the plant also produces chilled water for cooling.