Wed., Feb 9, 2011
Notch Mechanical Constructors received an Excellence in Construction Award from the Connecticut Chapter of Associated Builders & Contractors (CT-ABC) for its work at the Bradley Energy Center, a combined cooling, heating, and power (CCHP) plant.
CCHP is one of the most practical and viable solutions in our national effort to improve energy efficiency, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and lower dependence on foreign fossil fuels. Bradley International Airport in Windsor Locks, Connecticut is a leader in this arena, having built the Bradley Energy Center (BEC) in 2002.
This fully integrated CHP plant is able to meet the electric and thermal power needs of the airport with a significantly higher level of reliability and energy efficiency than power purchased from the grid. This was accomplished by capturing and utilizing the thermal energy that is typically wasted by large utility central power plants, and using this excess energy to provide heating and cooling for the host facility.
Prior to the expansion project, the BEC used three (3) natural gas reciprocating engines to generate a combined 3.8MW output of electric power and then capture the thermal energy in the exhaust gas and the jacket water for use in the HVAC systems. This energy is used to make hot water for space heating in the winter and to provide domestic hot water year round. In the summer, the heat is used to generate chilled water through the use of a hot water powered absorption chiller. However, as Bradley Airport continued to implement its long term master plan, it became obvious that the BEC would need to increase its capacity to support the airport’s ongoing facility expansion. To address this growing need, Ameresco, the energy services company that operates and maintains the BEC, received permission from the airport to add a new 1.86MW advanced technology Waukesha engine-generator to expand its generating capacity, and selected Notch Mechanical Constructors to perform the required mechanical and civil work.
Throughout the project, Notch worked closely with the plant operations team to assure no disruptions in the supply of critical utilities. All tie-ins with existing plant systems were carefully coordinated in advance and were completed during a one day planned outage.