A hybrid chilled-water plant that allows selection of the lowest-cost energy source has been recognized for technological innovation by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE).

The new chilled-water plant at Capital University in Columbus, Ohio, is expected to use $100,000 a year less energy than the single-stage absorption plant it replaced, according to a computer model estimate.

The water chiller project, along with two other projects, was awarded a first-place ASHRAE Technology Award during the Society's 2001 Winter Meeting held here Jan. 27-31.

The ASHRAE Technology Awards recognize outstanding achievements by members who have successfully applied innovative building design in the areas of occupant comfort, indoor air quality, and energy conservation. Their designs incorporate ASHRAE standards for effective energy management and indoor air quality. Performance is proven through one year's actual, verifiable operating data.

The hybrid chilled-water plant was designed by Jeffrey Celuch, who earned first place in the institutional buildings, existing, category. Celuch is team leader and project manager at ThermalTech Engineering, Cincinnati.

Celuch designed an engine-generator/electric chiller combination, which he found to have the best or second best life-cycle cost for 18 different utility rate scenarios.

By repositioning valves and transfer switches with a digital control system, the chillers can be loaded to use either more natural gas or more electricity. The natural gas-fired engine-generator is capable of providing emergency power for the campus.

Roland Charneux earned first place in the institutional buildings, new, category, for a university science building, the Pavillon President-Kennedy, for Universite du Quebec a Montreal, Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Charneux is vice president of operation and C.O.O. for Pageau Morel and Associes Inc.

The 400,000-sq-ft building is used for teaching and research and includes wet and dry labs. Energy efficiency, low capital costs, laboratory safety and design flexibility were Charneux's primary concerns, while also incorporating comfort and high indoor air quality.

Use of an innovative dual duct air system serving both lab and non-lab areas allows the outside air requirements to be kept at a minimum. Fume hood and general lab exhaust is provided by a manifold system that results in a reduction in energy and capital costs.

Paul Torcellini, Ph.D., P.E., and Otto Van Geet, P.E., earned first place in the alternative and/or renewable energy use category, for the Otto Van Geet residence, Idaho Springs, Colo. Torcellini is senior engineer I, and Van Geet is senior project leader II at National Renewal Energy Laboratory, Golden, CO.

The Van Geet residence was designed using a whole building approach with no electrical or gas utilities available at the site. It features passive and active solar technologies. The residence uses 72% less energy than a conventionally constructed home, savings that include 66% less heating energy and 77% less appliance energy.

Due to the low-energy demand, the cost of fuel for 1999 was $100 worth of propane. A backup generator consumed 40%; cooking and clothes drying consumed 35%, and the remaining 25% was used for heating and hot water backup.

The second-place winners are:

  • David Peters, P.E., for the J.D. Edwards buildings, Denver, in the commercial buildings, new, category. Peters is senior vice president of engineering of the Colorado Division at Southland Industries, Englewood, Co.
  • Marc Rosenbaum, P.E., and Daniel Lewis, P.E., for the James L. and Evelena S. Oakes Hall, Vermont Law School, South Royalton, Vt., in the institutional buildings, new, category. Rosenbaum is principal at Energysmiths, Meriden, NH. Lewis is a partner at Kohler and Lewis, Keene, NH.
  • John King for the Crawley Campus Mechanical Retrofit, University of Western Australia, Perth, Western Australia, in the institutional buildings, existing, category. King is senior technical officer mechanical at the University of Western Australia, Perth, West Australia.
  • Scott Ward for Schwan's Super Rink, Blaine, MN, in the public assembly, new, category. Ward is project engineer at Bonestroo, Rosene, Anderlik and Associates Inc., St. Paul.
  • Dianne Griffiths for The Carbury, Humble, TX, in the residential, new, category. Griffiths is senior engineer at Steve Winter Associates Inc., Norwalk, CT.