SUNY ESF Baker Laboratory Cooling System Upgrade
As part of a backdrop term agreement with the College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF), PDG provided mechanical and electrical engineering, as well as system commissioning to support the installation of supplemental cooling for critical research areas in Baker Laboratory at SUNY ESF.
The areas were cooled by main facility chilled water, which is shut down during the winter, weekends, and holidays. Several labs in this facility focus on advanced microscopy, including a $5 million transmission electron microscope (TEM) installation and a scanning electron microscope (SEM). The equipment, along with support equipment located in the TEM Prep, SEM Prep, and ICP Lab, is highly utilized and requires constant cooling, which is not available during times of chiller shutdown. PDG evaluated the existing conditions and designed and commissioned a supplemental cooling system, including a dedicated chiller with free cooling to serve the critical TEM and SEM areas for year-round cooling.
For system commissioning, a commissioning plan was established and a kick-off meeting was held early in the construction. Based on the plan, the team provided periodic site observation inspection, pre-functional and functional performance testing, and as-built sequences of operation. The focus of commissioning during the later phase of construction was on functional performance testing of the mechanical systems, including a new air cooled chiller, chilled water coils, fan coil units, heat exchanger, existing TEM chiller, and associated system switchover controls.