Cooling tower replacement at Central Plant


PHOTO: Megan Bean | University Relations

The Mississippi State University Central Plant produces chilled water and hot water that is used for cooling and heating 40 buildings in the heart of campus, including the new residence halls. The chilled water portion depends on several cooling towers, and it recently became apparent that some of these had reached the end of their service life -- accelerating the replacement schedule.

Accordingly, MSU Facilities Management launched a fast-track project to procure three new towers, with design and installation oversight by staff personnel.

Last week, the towers were received and lifted into place.

The new state-of-the-art towers are constructed of fiberglass and will provide many more years of service than the original wood towers. In addition, the new towers employ the energy conservation strategy of minimizing the electrical consumption according to the campus cooling need.

A similar tower was recently installed at Humphrey Coliseum as part of the Mize Pavilion project, and it has demonstrated the advantages of this technique.

This project represents another step in the university's sustainability efforts articulated and supported by MSU President Mark E. Keenum. The towers are producing energy savings and providing for more fuel efficient, environmentally-friendly operations in an area of critical need on our campus.

The new towers at the Central Plant will soon be operational, and ready to reliably and economically meet the summer cooling needs. In addition, a thermal storage initiative is in the design stage that will enable chilled water to be produced and stored at night -- when the summer electrical rates are lower -- for use the following day during the cooling-demand period.

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