Olsson Associates

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Olsson designs innovative energy system for Nebraska Innovation Campus

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Sarah Ferdico, Communications

The Land Development team and Olsson Project Manager Tim Gergen are leading the Nebraska Innovation Campus (NIC) Central Renewable Energy System (CRES) project, which was featured in the Lincoln Journal Star on September 28 (click here to read the article). This is a large, $12 million project to which many Olsson teams have contributed. Only five other similar systems have been built in the United States. The NIC’s system is the largest.

The three components of the project include the following:

  • Wastewater effluent pumping station and force mains to and from the heat exchange facility (Public Infrastructure team)
  • A heat exchange facility and associated equipment (Mechanical Electrical team)
  • Looping from the heat exchange facility throughout Innovation Campus (Land Development team)

This project will use reclaimed water from the adjacent Theresa Street wastewater treatment plant. Olsson’s initial investigation, which was completed in summer 2013, indicated that the reclaimed water from the treatment plant could provide an economical method to heat and cool the NIC buildings by using a centralized heat exchanger.

CRES flow diagramThe way the CRES works is as follows: The treated water from the plant, which would typically go into Salt Creek, is diverted to a centralized heat exchange facility that Olsson designed and is located at the NIC. The centralized heat exchanger harnesses the temperature difference generated by the reclaimed water and translates the temperature differential into a closed loop piping system on campus. Individual NIC buildings connected to the closed loop system will then be able to transfer heat in and out of the buildings according to the season.

The NIC is approved for up to 2.2 million square feet of building floor area. The amount of reclaimed water discharge from the treatment plant will generate enough heating/cooling power for approximately 1.8 million square feet of building floor area. The remaining square footage, if built, would be heated and cooled using traditional methods.

The system is scheduled to be in operation next spring and will pump an estimated 28 million gallons of water per day to heat and cool NIC buildings at full build out.

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