District Energy System Deals with Suspended Solids

October 6, 2014 By Linda Hardesty

NORMC energy manageA district energy system in New Orleans provides 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’s flooding led to elevated Total Suspended Solids (TSS) levels in NORMC’s cooling water systems. This increase in TSS caused fouling of the heat exchangers.

NORMC determined the best solution to clean up its large volume chilled water loop would be to install a 300 gpm Vortisand cross-flow microsand filter system.

The Vortisand system replaced a traditional-capability sand filter that claimed 5-micron capability. After the Vortisand installation, a standard laser particle distribution analysis illustrated that 80 percent of the TSS were less than 5 micron in size.

Previously, NORMC’s 15 heat exchangers had to be cleaned several times per year due to the increased suspended solids. Since the Vortisand system was installed in 2010, NORMC has not had to clean its heat exchangers.

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