Heating Plant Stacks at night

Heating Plant

The Heating Plant is located on the southwest area of the campus and has a capacity of 650 tonnes/hour steam. The plant was first built in 1959; subsequent additions of boilers, other equipment and building extensions occurred in the following years, with the installation of a 13.3 MW back pressure steam turbine generator in 1994 and a 26.4 MW condensing steam turbine generator in 2000.

The plant has five boilers: two producing steam at 2,760 kPag and three at 6,200 kPag. The plant uses natural gas as a fuel and has the capability to fire ultra-low-sulphur Diesel (ULSD) as a backup to the natural gas.

Steam at 1,035 kPag is supplied to the service corridor for distribution to all of the facilities in the Greater Campus Area (GCA) for heating and process use. Condensate is returned back to the plant.

All 6,200 kPag boilers are fitted with combustion controls utilizing state-of-the-art technology to reduce excess air, NOx and greenhouse gas emissions.  All boiler flue gases are routed to two large exhaust stacks, which house a Continuous Emission Monitoring System (CEMS). The CEMS unit data is collected and transmitted to Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resource Development. 

The back pressure steam turbine generator is a 13.3 MW cogeneration unit which simultaneously produces heat (steam for the campus distribution system) and power.  It is supplied with steam at 6,200 kPag from the boilers and steam is exhausted at 1,035 kPag to the service corridor. Power production from this turbine is directly related to the campus heating load, hence most power production from this unit occurs in the winter months.

The 26.4 MW condensing steam turbine generator operates independently of the heating load with the exhaust being condensed in an air-cooled condenser. The unit is a market-responsive unit and acts as a physical hedge against high prices in Alberta’s deregulated energy market.

The plant also includes a demineralizer system produces high quality water for use as boiler feed and for distribution via the service corridor to certain customers who have a requirement for this grade of water.

The Heating Plant also produces instrument quality air at 700 kPag and a dew point of -50 Celsius using four oil-free centrifugal air compressors. Compressed air is distributed via the service corridors for use as control air to all of the buildings.

Heating Plant Capacity (FYE2014)

  • Annual steam production: more than 1 billion kg
  • Peak flow: 375,000 kg/hr
  • Minimum flow: 40,000 kg/hr
  • Annual natural gas consumption: 3.9 million GJ