Taking a Total Systems Approach to Air Handling Systems

We recently developed an air handling system for a brownfield redevelopment project in Antioch, California, which really brought into focus our thinking about our total systems approach to air handling equipment.

First and foremost, consider that the redeveloped plant:

  • Was to have a net output of 930 megawatts
  • Was to be a “peaking plant” that needed to start up in three minutes or less
  • Could not use a water-cooled system or heat recovery generator due to California environmental codes
  • Needed to meet LEED standards
  • Had to use the existing, constraining facility footprint
  • Needed to run quietly because it was close to residential areas

These requirements meant that every detail mattered. Not only because they affected our ability to meet the individual requirements — such as environmental codes and noise levels — but because the overall air handling system had to be optimized to reach peak operation at the drop of a hat.

Furthermore, the air handling system had to be developed in very close consideration with the plant’s other components (e.g., turbines, SCR, plant architecture) since they also needed to be designed to address the project’s multiple constraints in their own ways. The details of the fans, ducts, and air-intake systems therefore mattered not just for the air handling system itself, but for these other parts of the plant as well — much more so than on most other projects.

Take a look at our case study for this peaking plant project to learn more about the integrated approach we took to the air handling system, as well as some of the innovations we developed specifically for it, such as “down corners” — towering air inlet plenums that feed fans while taking up minimal precious site real estate.

Or, you can call us at 1-888-663-2028 and we’ll be happy to discuss our total systems approach to air handling, as well as any ways that we can improve your air handling system.