Our primary function is to provide heating, cooling and power to all academic, administrative, retail, and residences on campus. In order to accomplish this, we generate high pressure steam for heating and chilled water for cooling, and deliver these by way of underground service tunnels to mechanical rooms of each building for distribution to the various heating, ventilating, and air conditioning (HVAC) units within the building. We also generate and distribute power through our 10 megawatt co-generation plant and associated high voltage electrical distribution system.
The whole concept behind co-generation at York is to increase our resource efficiency and lower operating costs. Co-generation uses a single fuel source, natural gas, to produce electricity and heat. Co-generation is a cheaper alternative than simply purchasing electricity and heat separately, because it makes use of the “waste” heat that would normally be expelled in the process. In York’s case, for every 1 kilowatt of electricity which is produced, approximately 1.6 kilowatts of heat is generated. York’s co-generation plant has two gas turbines. Each turbine turns a generator that produces around 5,000 Kilowatts of electricity at 13.8 kilovolts. The plant produces approximately 60% of Keele Campus’ electricity requirements. The remaining 40% is purchased. The heat recovered from the cogeneration plant is used to:
- heat the buildings during winter;
- warm the domestic hot water (the water you shower & wash your hands in);
- heat the swimming pool; and
- produce cold water, via an absorption chiller, which is used to cool the buildings in the summer.
Along with heating, cooling and power, we are also responsible for the operation and maintenance of watermain-fire hydrant loop, the compressed air system, and the underground service distribution tunnel which interconnects the campus buildings to the boiler/chiller plant.
The Energy Management unit is a 24 hour per day, seven day per week, 365 days per year operation that is staffed by highly skilled technicians and management whose sole responsibility is to provide the utilities requirements of our community in a safe and efficient manner and in accordance with all regulatory requirements.