State-of-the-art upgrades to boilers cost $2.4 million

Seth Harris

More efficient boilers mean more reliable heating on campus.

SDSU’s ongoing construction projects have not stopped at the university’s main central heating system.

As part of a grant provided by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), Facilities and Services is in the process of completing five projects on the central heating systems at SDSU. With the current projects costing around $2.4 million, some of the central heating systems on campus will not only be state-of-the-art, but will be more energy and cost efficient.

A few of the projects focus on recapturing heat that is lost through the various processes of the boiler system, thereby decreasing the energy required to heat water and other components of the boiler. This plays a part in other upgrades that focus on controlling the combustion reaction and conditions of the boiler using digital control panels – having more control would mean greater efficiency in energy usage. Other upgrades are being made in conjunction with the former and focus on decreasing energy usage, maintenance and costs.

Roger Thue, utility systems engineer of Facilities and Services, said that the projects are a series of energy conservation measures and the measures will greatly decrease expenses and energy usage and make the systems more reliable.

Thue said that overall energy savings will be 18,152 million BTUs (British Thermal Units) per year. The estimated electrical savings is 865,000 kilowatt-hours per year and would save about $238,000 a year, he said.

Prior to receiving the grant, Facilities and Services had to compile data about the energy and cost savings of the project. Thue said the project needed the ability to be implemented in a short amount of time, saying “The whole intent of the ARRA fund was obviously to sp