The repair and renovation of North Platte Community College’s 37-year-old heating and cooling system is complete.
A total of six utility systems were recently renovated on the south campus, officials announced Wednesday.
The work was paid with a $450,000 grant through the American Recovery and Reinvestment (Stimulus) Act of 2009. And, another $14,009 was paid by the college to cover contractor bids.
“Energy costs are going to continue to rise,” said MPCC President Ryan Purdy. “When we can undertake a project that will reduce our consumption of energy, it will help us to maintain or reduce our costs. This will help maintain our budget and also force us to be more environmentally friendly.”
The college submitted an application to participate in the Nebraska Energy Office’s Building Energy Efficiency Retrofit for State Colleges and Community Colleges program in 2010, according to MPCC Area Grant Writer Angela Raby.
The three main goals were to reduce the college’s emissions into the environment, save dollars spent on energy costs by increasing efficiency of systems, and create local jobs to make improvements.
Raby said the estimated annual energy savings for the college is $23,522.
She said the Facilities Team at NPCC worked with engineers from Farris Engineering in Omaha to determine how the college could make improvements to existing facilities and get the best reductions in emissions and the fastest return on investment.
After an energy audit, the college chose six key projects from a nine‐project list of improvements.
The projects were:
• Converting the chilled and hot water systems from constant flow to variable flow.
• Providing a new pump for the condenser water system.
• Replacing the existing standard efficiency boilers with new, energy efficient condensing boilers.
• Converting old pneumatic controls to state-of-the-art DDC controls.
• Replacing the existing hot water heater with a new water-to-water heat exchanger which utilizes hot water produced by the new condensing boiler.
Ron Axtell, the director of physical resources at the college, was heavily involved in the process, including planning, bidding, and awarding contracts to local businesses.
Jerry Koss, the college’s HVAC Maintenance Technician, worked closely with several contractors including Charlie’s North Platte Plumbing, A. J. Sheet Metal Inc. Heating and Air Conditioning, Rod Christmann Electric Solutions, and Control Services and Bes-Tech to complete the project.
Work began a year ago. The heating portion of the project was finished in November and the cooling portion in March 2012, Axtell said.
The other major component of the project being completed by Bes-Tech is referred to as “ECO 24/7.”
“As the verbiage indicates, the HVAC system is monitored 24-hours a day, seven days a week to ensure it is operating as designed,” Axtell said. “Basically, we received this grant based on saving a certain amount of energy and the EC0 24/7 process assists in verifying that we are meeting those projections.”