July 14, 2015 — Baltimore, Md. — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has recognized Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine, with a 2015 Energy Star Combined Heat and Power (CHP) award for the superior energy efficiency of the CHP system designed by RMF Engineering, headquartered in Baltimore.
The system simultaneously generates enough steam and electricity to provide 100 percent of heating needs and approximately 9 percent of total electric consumption for the college. The system also avoids emissions of air pollutants, eliminating an estimated 1,000 tons of carbon dioxide annually, which is equal to the emissions from the generation of electricity for 130 homes.
The cogeneration plant has saved the 220-year-old college more than $320,000 in electricity costs from its installation in March 2012 to the end of fiscal year 2014. It produces 630 kW of electricity and steam annually for the space heating and hot water generation for 1.4 million square feet across 56 campus buildings.
The project has helped propel Bowdoin College toward its goal of carbon neutrality by 2020.
The plant is housed within a 120-year-old structure that once was a gymnasium and in 1920 was converted into the central boiler plant. In 1974, the building was expanded to increase its steam-generating capacity. RMF evaluated and modeled several sizes of combustion turbines, reciprocating engines and steam turbines for heat and power production, cost effectiveness and greenhouse gas emissions. Two existing boilers were removed from the site and then replaced by the space-efficient equipment recommended by RMF, which avoided the expense of expanding the building.
A final push toward efficiency and environmental responsibility was the addition to the plant of a green roof (visible from other campus buildings) to deflect heat, limit water runoff and extend the life of the roof.
About RMF Engineering
Founded in 1983, RMF Engineering provides planning, design, engineering, commissioning and facility assessment services globally to clients in the higher education, healthcare, laboratory/research and government sectors. The firm leads the industry in the development of new engineering production methods and technologies, including Building Information Modeling (BIM), carbon reduction strategies, and in-depth assessment technologies. A privately held company headquartered in Baltimore, Maryland, RMF has more than 215 employees in 11 U.S. offices.
Source: RMF Engineering