Sonitec-Vortisand Case Study: New Orleans Regional Medical Center (NORMC) District Energy Center
Vortisand® cross-flow microsand filter shows Return On Investment of less than 12 months and keeps heat exchangers clean for district cooling center in New Orleans, LA.
Enwave USA (formerly Entergy Thermal) located in New Orleans, LA, completed the design-build of a new District Energy Center in New Orleans to provide services to the New Orleans Regional Medical Center (NORMC) and other clients.
The facility provides more than 33,000 tons of chilled water and air conditioning to more than 12 million square feet of commercial property that encompasses 15 square city blocks.
In 2009, hurricane Katrina flooded the entire city which led to elevated Total Suspended Solids (TSS) levels in all their cooling water systems. Jeff Davis, Director Plant Operations for Enwave USA attended the IDEA Expo in Washington DC looking for solutions to improve his bulk chilled water quality in the aftermath of considerable damage caused by flooding. Mr. Davis visited the Sonitec-Vortisand booth and met with Regional Manager, Keith Karl.
Jeff discussed the challenges they were having with poor water quality negatively impacting the performance of their large thermal chilled water supply. They had tried traditional media filters and they did not succeed in reducing the level of TSS.
It was determined the best solution to clean up this large volume chilled water loop, while keeping within a tight budget, would require a 300 gpm Vortisand® cross-flow microsand filter that provided submicron filtration and high quality water.
The Vortisand® system replaced a traditional sand filter that claimed 5 micron capability. A standard laser particle distribution analysis illustrated that 80% of the TSS were less than 5 micron in size.
The new Vortisand® unit was installed in early 2010 and after several months of operation proved to be a wise investment for them. Proof that a quality submicron filtration system coupled with a comprehensive chemical treatment program was the key to reducing TSS levels.
During a recent site visit in April 2014, Jeff Davis stated he has never seen the chilled water this clean since the start-up of the facility in 2000. The TSS issues that previously plagued the entire system never returned. Previously, their 15 heat exchangers had to be cleaned several times per year due to the increased biofilm caused by the suspended solids. “These heat exchangers have not had to be cleaned since the Vortisand® was installed in 2010”, said Davis.Maintaining their design efficiency has improved the bottom line every year with a Return On Investment of less than 12 months.
To learn how Vortisand® cross-flow microsand filters kept the NORMC District Energy heat exchangers clean and reduced maintenance costs read more.