NREL – Solar Energy Research Facility (SERF) – Cooling Tower

Since 2008, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has awarded 360 Engineering multiple Task Order Agreement contracts to lead a multi-disciplinary team of Architects and Engineers. Through these contracts, 360 Engineering’s design team has completed over 100 projects.

At the Solar Energy Research Facility (SERF), the team has completed several upgrade projects. One of these projects involved providing a new cooling tower and upgrading a leaking cooling tower condenser water piping system. To accommodate budget and scheduling concerns, 360 Engineering coordinated the division of the project into two phases and reduced impact to the site by finding a solution to fix the leaking underground piping without relocating the existing cooling tower.

360 Engineering reconfigured the operation of the cooling tower condenser water plant to optimize both the performance of the plant as well as increase the system redundancy moving forward. A temporary bypass piping system was incorporated, allowing the condenser water plant to continue operating while the leaking underground piping was replaced with a higher-quality pre-insulated piping system. This piping was specified to mitigate the effects of corrosive soils, which caused the original piping leak, and to maximize the life of the new piping system.



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