- National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
- Princeton, New Jersey
- Our Role
- Mechanical, Electrical
- 10,000 sq. feet
- Construction Cost
- 6 months
- A detailed report identified the root causes of HVAC and electrical problems
- Engineers provided cost-effective solutions to address short- and long-term facility needs
- Modifications to the HVAC system resolved cooling issues and made existing systems more efficient.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) facility in Princeton, New Jersey, was experiencing problems with temperature regulation, humidity control, and the electrical systems serving its data center. After computer systems were upgraded, electrical loads increased by approximately 300 kilovolt-amperes, causing temperatures to rise and triggering automatic shutdowns of equipment. Gannett Fleming mechanical and electrical engineers were engaged to evaluate the facility's systems and find solutions.
The team conducted a detailed survey of the building and held meetings with facility personnel to identify problems and assess future needs. Investigations included air flow, temperature and humidity measurements, and infrared thermography to identify cooling short-circuiting. Engineers prepared a detailed report that identified root causes of the HVAC and electrical shortcomings and provided short and long term solutions that would be least disruptive to the center’s operations. The team implemented a cost-effective short term strategy that helped NOAA to use its existing cooling capacity more efficiently to better control temperature and humidity levels within the computer room.
Electrical engineers carefully analyzed electrical loads and the existing power distribution system to assess its ability to support current equipment demands and planned upgrades. Electrical recommendations included reducing the load on the transformer by moving the power source for the computer room to the main building and adding monitoring systems for each of the unit substations. Long-term solutions included installing a new unit substation, improvements to the UPS system, and the addition of an emergency generator.
- An infrared thermographic scan identified temperature differences and areas of suspected air infiltration/exfiltration
- Engineers provided recommend ways to improve the efficiency of the existing chilled water piping system
- The study identified solutions for meeting long-term power demands as new equipment is added.