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Power Plant Operations

The Power Plant generates and distributes electricity, chilled water and saturated dry steam.

The Heart of the System: Co-generation
The co-generation unit is a gas turbine-driven generator set with a design output of 5 megawatts of electrical energy. It has two modes of operation: normal mode and hurricane mode.

  • Normal mode: The generator operates in parallel with the utility company to supply electricity to the campus.
  • Hurricane mode: Through the use of a specially designed electrical power transfer switching system, the generator is operated independently from the utility company to supply electrical power to the critical buildings and systems of the campus.

The co-generation unit is driven by a 7,000-HP dual fuel (natural gas or diesel liquid fuel) fired gas turbine engine. The exhaust gases of this engine are diverted through a waste heat recovery steam generator (HRSG) that coverts the chemical energy of the gases into thermal energy by the production of saturated dry steam at a design rate of up to 25,000 pounds per hour. This saturated dry steam is distributed through an underground network of piping to the campus for building comfort heating and other processes that can utilize the steam. The steam can also be used to supply thermal energy to a 1,150-ton absorption chiller for the production of chilled water.

Water Tube Boilers
To augment the supply of saturated dry steam to the campus, the plant has two water tube boilers with a combined capacity to generate 75,000 pounds of steam per hour. This combined with the HRSG gives the plant the total capacity of 100,000 pounds of steam that can be supplied to the campus.

Electric-driven Chillers
In addition to the 1,150-ton steam-driven absorption driven chiller, the plant has four electric-driven chillers with a combined capacity 6,400 tons of refrigeration. The plant total chiller refrigeration capacity is 7,550 tons. The chillers, through the use of a primary, secondary, and tertiary pumping system, have the capacity to deliver 15,000 gallons per minute of chilled water to the campus for building comfort cooling. Because of all the new construction taking place on campus in 2006, we plan to increase the chiller tonnage and chilled water pumping capacities of the plant.

Satellite Plant
The power plant personnel are also responsible for the operation and maintenance of chillers and boilers at the Reily Recreation Center satellite plant. There are two 120-HP medium temperature heating water type boilers and two 250-ton electric-driven chillers at the Reily Center.

Maintenance Emergency Response
Power Plant personnel are on duty 24/7, so in addition to operating the plant equipment, they respond to all maintenance emergencies after normal working hours, on weekends, and on holidays.


Uptown Facilities Services, New Orleans, LA 70118 504-865-5441 srvcdsk@tulane.edu