Bradley Airport Energy Center Upgrade


Windsor Locks, CT

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Project Overview

The Bradley airport Energy Center is a combined cooling, heating and power (CCHP) plant operational since 2002.  The airport saw CCHP as one of its most practical and viable solutions to improve energy efficiency and respond responsibly to greenhouse emissions concerns.  This fully integrated plant meets all the electric and thermal power needs of the airport terminal with significantly higher levels of reliability and energy efficiency than power purchased from the grid. By capturing and utilizing the thermal energy that is typically wasted by large utility central power plants, excess energy is used to provide needed heating and cooling. As the airport continued its ongoing expansion, the Bradley Energy Center (BEC) needed to increase its capacity.

Highlights & Challenges
  • The busy international airport required the mechanical piping tie-ins be completed in one day when outside temperatures were mild.
  • The complex project demanded a reliable dedicated team with a significant number of highly skilled and licensed craft workers.
  • 17 major piping tie-ins were done, each had its own detailed plan, assigned crew and custom lock out procedures written for it.
  • Process and utility piping included water, oil, gas and air.
Scope Summary
The energy services company, Ameresco, that operates and maintains the BEC chose to expand by adding a fourth engine, a 1.86MW advanced technology Waukesha engine-generator with a heat recovery hot water boiler. Notch was hired to perform the required mechanical and civil work. Notch worked closely with the plant operations team to assure no disruptions in the supply of critical utilities. A full range of process and utility piping were involved: hot & chilled water, fuel & engine oil, high & low pressure natural gas, exhaust gas & stack, compressed & instrument air. All tie-ins with existing plant systems were carefully coordinated in advance for the one day planned outage. Additionally the air temperature was required to be 60-65 degrees so that the heating and cooling systems would not be required. After months of being ready and on call to do the tie-ins, it was finally accomplished in the spring of 2010. Notch crews began at 6am. The systems were back on line at 8pm, four hours ahead of schedule.

Project Accolades

Winner of three construction industry mechanical awards from Associated Builders and Contractors:

  • Excellence Award from the Connecticut Chapter
  • Excellence Award from the Rhode Island Chapter
  • Merit Award from the National Organization