North Campus Chiller

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North Campus Chiller System
Team Name Chillin' Idaho
Duration Summer 2016 - Fall 2016
Faculty Advisers
  • Andrew Lake

Team Members
  • Alejandro Madrigal
  • Cliff Brewer
  • Rachal Skyving
  • Shelby West

The University of Idaho North Campus Chiller Plant is used to create and disperse chilled water throughout the university of Idaho Facilities. The intent of this project is to develop and validate a math model of the NCCP, take inventory of the system instrumentation and see what addition sensors are needed, and also use the collected data in the math model to see how the system will perform in various operating conditions.


The North Campus Chiller Plant (NCCP) is a plant that removes heat from water via absorption refrigeration cycle. The chilled water is then circulated through heat exchangers to cool university of Idaho's equipment as required. The NCCP uses cooling towers to take the heat out of the water being sent out to campus. The cooling towers work by misting the warm water down through air. The amount of heat being pulled out of the water being misted down is affected by ambient temperature.

Components of the cycle

Items Description
There are pumps used for the primary and secondary loops of the system.
North Campus Cooling Towers
There are three cooling towers in use to reject the heat to atmosphere. This is done by moist atmospheric air cooling the water. The hot water is cooled by evaporation of some of the water into the moist air stream.

The Chiller is made up of four parts which include; the condenser, evaporator, compressor, and expansion valve. The condenser is the heating side of the system having high temperatures, and the evaporator is the cooling side having low temperatures.

Problem Definition

The University of Idaho campus utilizes the North Campus Chiller Plant to supply cold water which is sent by piping into the various buildings to air handling units. Our group plans to find ways to make the chiller system more efficient by developing a model and testing it out with data collected from sensors we will install.

Instrumentation Added to Cycle

Items Description
Flow Meter

Flow meters are used throughout the system to record the data at specified points.

Pressure Transducer

A grand total of 23 pressure sensors are needed for the system. These will be used to record the pressure at various points in the system.

Enthalpy Sensor

The enthalpy sensors will be placed on the cooling towers to record the data of temperature and humidity.

Updated P&ID

P&ID Photo.png

We created a P&ID to show the various sensors throughout the system. We showed the existing instrumentation as well as what we needed to add. Adding the instrumentation that was missing from the system allowed us to acquire that data we needed for our math model.

EES Diagram

EES Diagram.png

An EES was created to show all the the state points throughout the cycle. It also shows the plant tags of where the sensors are located throughout the system.

Data Analysis

Throughout the system, the data collected from the sensors and ATS data acquisition devices was put into an excel file. Data from each instrument was put into individual files. Then we compiled the data into one excel file and implemented it into our EES math model. With the values received from our math model we then created plots to show the performance of the chiller under various operating conditions.

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Performance Plot (Hot Day)
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Performance Plot (Hot Day)
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Performance Plot (Cold Day)
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Performance Plot (Cold Day)

Team Members

Alejandro Photo.jpeg
Alejandro Madrigal:

Major: BS in Mechanical Engineering
Hometown: Caldwell, Idaho
Graduation Date: Dec 10, 2016
Hobbies: Being with friends and Family/Exercising/Hiking/Fishing/Working on cars
Responsibilities: Math Model
Plan After Graduation: Workforce

Cliff Photo.jpg
Cliff Brewer:

Major: BS in Mechanical Engineering
Hometown: Rathdrum, ID
Graduation Date: Dec 10, 2016
Hobbies: Hunting/Fishing/Riding my motorcycle
Responsibilities: P&ID
Plan After Graduation: Workforce

Rachal Photo.jpeg
Rachal Skyving:

Major: BS in Mechanical Engineering
Hometown: Caldwell, Idaho
Graduation Date: Dec 10, 2016
Hobbies: Enjoying the outdoors/Music&concerts/Yoga/Travel
Responsibilities: Math Model/Documentation
Plan After Graduation: Workforce

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Shelby West:

Major: BS in Mechanical Engineering
Hometown: Milton-Freewater, OR
Graduation Date: Dec 10, 2016
Hobbies: Hunting/fishing/biking/Music
Responsibilities: Wiki Manager/Budget/Action Items
Plan After Graduation: Workforce

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