Operation and Maintenance of Building Services

Airports are large buildings equipped with air-conditioning and ventilation systems and the high-power demand for lighting and electric equipment and the energy requirements from the many facilities located within the airport precinct. Thus, energy management – which includes heating, ventilation, air conditioning (HVAC), and lighting—is extremely important for airports.

The Energy Management Centre (EMC) at the SG International Airport provides nonstop cooling air to Terminal A and its passenger arrival/departure concourses, through which nearly 100,000 travelers pass daily.

The Airport Facilities Management Office operates the EMC’s four 2,000-ton chillers, each with its own cooling tower, pumps, and piping, which comprise the central chiller system that cools 2.8 million square feet of space in Terminal A and its concourses. Central chiller plants and pumping loops are common in multiple-building settings such as university campuses, hospital complexes, and business campuses.

During the dry season months from April to October, the EMC chiller plant delivered only about 5,400 tons of cooling, well below its design capacity. The user detected an abnormality in terms of its raised operating temperature and fluid discharge beneath the equipment. In addition, the plant was wasting energy because too much air in the condenser water pipes prevented the cooling towers from taking enough heat out of the chillers.

Under these circumstances, the system struggled to cool the main Terminal A, its concourses, and the adjacent multi-story parking ramp. The operational condenser approach temperature of the Chiller was observed to be higher than 3°C.

Question 1

With reference to the type of building services/systems discussed in study units of this course, identify and examine the major systems installed in the Airport facility. Provide the schematic diagram of the actual chiller plant system in your report.

Question 2

  • Appraise the operation and maintenance of the Airport’s ACMV system and,
  • Determine the possible defects of the system and causes of poor performance of the chiller plant.

Question 3

Propose the action plans and the maintenance strategy needed to rectify the defects and improve the system’s performance.