Brooke Army Medical Center Chiller Design Review and Commissioning
Jun 21, 2013

Life Sciences

Engineering & Commissioning

Fort Sam Houston
Brooke Army Medical Center
Chiller Design Review & Commissioning
Reference: J&J World Wide Services
Lee Greenwood
(210) 662-7035
Project Duration: April 2011 – October 2011
Size: 1,500,000 SQUARE FEET
Cost: $12,000,000


brooke-army-medical-center-chiller-design-reviewsys-tek was hired to provide engineering review and analysis as well as commissioning and balancing for the Central Equipment Plant. We broke this project into 2 separate phases. Phase I addresses immediate concerns and Phase II addresses upgrades and energy efficiency improvements. The Central Plant included a 7,500 TON chiller plant in a primary/secondary pumping configuration with 2,000 BHP steam plant operating at 125 psig.

Phase 1 – Project Review and Site Inspection


The objective was to collect pertinent data such as equipment size, piping configuration and pumping schemes, so that we could develop a chiller plant load profile. We reviewed equipment shop drawings, operation logs and interviewed operating personnel so that we were able to find out all we could about the chiller plant operation as well as historical operation. We took field measurements, performed dead head pressure tests, and using our vibration analysis tools we measured the current vibration on all pumps and chilling equipment.

The first phase also included commissioning and system balancing. The initial commissioning process focused on the chiller plant as installed. This included acceptance testing, capacity testing, internal failure and recovery tests, and reporting and annunciation of alarms under abnormal conditions, results were analyzed and documented. Also, integration testing was provided which tested the interaction between the systems with one another and was demonstrated under normal and abnormal operating conditions.

Phase 2 – System Energy Upgrades and Computer Modeling

BAMC-4-webUnder this phase, a computer model of the chiller systems and piping distribution was created. The model truly provided insights to system operation that could otherwise not be obtained. We reviewed and made improved efficiency and operation recomendations for the new steam boiler plant. We prepared an operating schematic from our field data and reviewed all documentation onsite including O & M Manuals, shop drawings and parts lists. Energy upgrade options were evaluated. Retro-commissioning focused on energy and efficiency upgrades as well as improved system operation through control sequencing. Energy efficient upgrades implemented under this phase were validated and fine tuned under the commissioning process. This phase of commissioning took place after upgrades were completed as recommended from our initial site inspection and project review.