University of New Mexico Mechanical Engineering Building Thermal System Optimization

Thermal System Optimization Diagram

The Mechanical Engineering building on the UNM campus in Albuquerque has a complex thermal system. Approximately 225 m2 of solar thermal collectors supply hot water to a 70 kW absorption chiller, or charge a 30 m3 hot water storage tank. Additionally, a huge 350 m3 of chilled water storage is available. A DER-CAM model of this system has been built and runs daily on Berkeley Lab's server. A rolling 7-day ahead operating schedule is delivered to UNM each evening, and is fed automatically into the building's energy management and control system. This schedule determines the operation of the absorption chiller and charging and discharging of the storage.