Campus expansion has always challenged the associated growth of a centralized chilled water and heating water plant. Central plants, by design, are centrally located and often become landlocked by the growth of the campus served. At the same time, the central plant is often the most desired real estate in terms of campus function as well as aesthetic beauty. As the campus expands, the distribution piping needs to be extended. The associated losses, both thermal and hydraulic, increase as the piping insulation deteriorates and the piping runs see higher flow rates.
Depending on campus growth, both in terms of physical boundaries and functions of adjacent structures, there are several strategies to address growth of campus cooling and heating loads. Engineers typically see three options: (a) renovation of an existing central plant, (b) the creation of a new central plant, or (c) distributed smaller plants incorporated into campus buildings.