ARRMC’s new Central Utility Plant is ready to roll
A beautiful new, two-story Central Utility Plant on Murphy Road is powering ARRMC now that a final piece of switchgear has been installed.
The switchgear, which ensures safe, stable power for the hospital 24/7, was held up by about nine months, delaying the pavilion’s opening by about four months to Feb. 3, 2024.
The CUP will become fully functional Oct. 6, providing power and cooling systems for the entire hospital. Four giant Trane chillers stand ready to cool the hospital with up to 9,000 gallons of water per minute at full capacity. Each could cool the equivalent of 300 to 400 homes. Three will be used in the hottest parts of the summer; the fourth will act as a backup in case one of the other chillers breaks down.
“That redundancy is not a luxury Asante has had before and it’s not a luxury most hospitals have,” said Tim Ely, mechanical engineer who designed the mechanical portion of the CUP. “That has been built in intentionally because of the hot weather locally.”
Tall red pumps carry the warm water extracted from the building up to the chilling tower on the second floor, where mesh-like walls and giant fans move air through the water and release the heat as evaporation.
The fans, pumps and chillers run at variable speeds depending on how much cooling the hospital needs, “so we’re not using all that energy if we don’t need to,” Ely said. There’s also a separate heat exchanger that can be used in the spring and fall when some cooling is needed but not enough to fire up the big chillers.
The new system includes carbon filters that can be inserted into the air handlers to mitigate wildfire smoke, said Jeff Robbins, ARRMC Facilities manager.
Also included in the CUP are two new emergency power generators. Each produces 2 million watts (2,000 kilowatts) each, enough to run the chillers for the operating suites and critical care, something the hospital’s current generators can’t do.
The old chillers near the loading dock will be decommissioned. Asante will continue to use boilers located below the helipad to heat the hospital.
Nov. 27: Dress rehearsal (technical)
Dec. 1: Department tours begin
Dec. 13: Dress rehearsal (clinical)
Jan. 16, 2024: Second dress rehearsal
Feb. 3, 2024: OPENING DAY, ground-floor move-in
Feb. 4: Floors 3 and 4 move-in
Feb. 5: Floors 5 and 6 move-in
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