McMaster University

Trigeneration Plant

HH Angus was initially engaged to perform a Detailed Engineering Study to determine the viability of installing a natural gas-fired turbine for power and steam generation, and the use of absorption cooling to balance out steam production in the warmer months. 

For a full year, we reviewed heating, cooling and electrical power loading at McMaster University. We also reviewed operating costs covering maintenance, operating and natural gas costs, and completed a sensitivity analysis of gas and power pricing variances. Capital and Operating budgets were also prepared to determine ROI on the proposed investment.  

Following the Detailed Engineering Study, we were engaged to design the new trigeneration plant using a gas turbine (5.4 MW) coupled with an HRSG (Heat Recovery Steam Generator), natural gas compressor, absorption chiller (1000 tons) and centrifugal chiller (2500 tons). The plant was installed in the existing central utility plant room, and significant demolition of redundant equipment was undertaken to generate the space for this system upgrade.

There were a number of interesting challenges associated with the work:

  • Selective demolition of two existing steam boilers, two existing incinerators and one 5,000 ton electric centrifugal chiller including isolation of services and asbestos abatement to not impact existing plant operations       
  • Fitting this large equipment into an area with significant space constraints
  • Creating a path of ingress for the equipment from outside into the sub-grade basement level of the plant for installation during winter months where the weather would be unpredictable
  • Minimizing the impact on daily operations within the plant during the demolition and construction phases.
  • Integration and coordination with a switchgear replacement project running in parallel with the cogeneration project
  • Targeting a completion date of October, 2017 to ensure the client would receive full IESO funding for the project

Some of our solutions included:

  • Thorough surveys of existing equipment and services to ensure the equipment slated for demolition could be isolated from the operating plant with minimal to no service interruption
  • Engaging with equipment suppliers at an early date to ensure required footprints were allocated
  • Coordinating with the structural engineers to design a removable roof cap that could be installed prior to the existing roof being cut open to allow equipment installation
  • On-going coordination with plant staff during the design phase to get buy-in of any modifications required to the existing plant
  • Pre-tendering long lead item equipment to ensure on-site delivery dates would meet the construction schedule

By designing to eliminate potential interferences or issues with installation, we were able to meet the delivery targets and deliver a successful project.

Prime Consultant | Mechanical Engineering | Electrical Engineering

Status: Completed 2017

Hamilton, Ontario

Year-long detailed engineering study | Reviewed heating, cooling and electrical power loading 
| Study included sensitive analysis of gas and power pricing variances | Introduced new design for trigeneration plant usage, a gas turbine (5.4MW) coupled with an HRSG, natural gas compressor, absorbtion chiller and centrifugal chiller