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Purdue University's main campus inWest Lafayette, Indiana,has great potential for realizing significant energy savingsthrough the application of free cooling (technology that utilizeslow ambient air to provide cooling without operating thecentrifugal compressor of a liquid chiller): several buildings oncampus require cooling throughout the year due to high heatgains from equipment, lighting, solar glazing, and people, andthere are more than 3700 hours where the ambient wet-bulbtemperature is below 45°F (7.2°C). Currently, the cooling iscarried out using chilled water generated from two locations oncampus: theWade Power Plant and the Northwest Chiller Plant(NWCP). The NWCP provides supplementary cooling onlyduring the summer, remaining unused during the rest of the year,so it could be potentially operated in free-cooling mode duringthe colder months to reduce chiller operation at theWade Plant.This paper presentsasystematic approachfor assessing theapplication of free-cooling technology at the NWCP. The freecoolingsystem considered consists of a plate and frame heatexchanger piped in a parallel bypass circuit with the chillers toallow the cooling tower water to cool the campus chilled waterwhen conditions are appropriate. It is expected that the resultsof the study, which include performance modeling, economicanalysis, and technical considerations to determine the feasibilityof implementing free-cooling at NWCP, will provide auseful reference for the assessment of similar applications.

Citation: ASHRAE Transactions - Volume 121, Part 1, Chicago, IL