Thermal Chicago Corporation ? Plant #1 and #2
Chicago?s underground chilled water distribution system serves over 100 buildings within the city through 15 miles of underground piping. It is one of the most advanced, reliable, and efficient cooling systems in the world. ESD provided engineering design services for two of the system?s five chilled water generation plants throughout the city, as well as Technology Consulting services and Distribution System Master Planning services.
Plant #1 is located in Chicago?s Central Loop and is a 25,000-ton chilled water generation plant with three 5,000 ton electric motor driven centrifugal chillers and 66,000 ton-hours of ice storage. Plant #2, at the edge of the Central Loop, hosts the largest ice tank of its kind. The tank is 40 ft deep, holds 2,000,000 gallons of chilled water, and can deliver 125,000 ton-hours of cooling to the system.
The system works by producing ice during off-peak hours when electricity costs are at their lowest. By leveling out the electrical grid, there is less need for infrastructure or for energy production. For new buildings, this allows for upfront cost and space savings, while existing buildings have been able to phase out their aging chiller plants and reduce their mechanical footprints.