Redwood City Campus to Include “Mini-CEF”

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Stanford's new campus in Redwood City will incorporate a number of sustainability features as part of the high-performance building design, and will also rely on a smaller version of the campus Central Energy Facility (CEF) for heating and cooling. Initially, developers looked at a range of options to evaluate the most environmentally and economically efficient option, namely a distributed system with localized equipment in each building versus the central plant model that utilizes thermal storage and heat recovery. The analysis looked at initial capital cost, water consumption, energy consumption, carbon emissions, and operations and maintenance costs, and ultimately revealed that the central model yielded greater overall long-term cost benefits, as well as significant reductions in energy and water use.

The new plant will include similar features as the facility on campus, including:

  • One 600-ton Heat Recovery Chiller,
  • A 1 million-gallon capacity chilled water thermal energy storage tank,
  • Three  8,000 gallon capacity hot water thermal energy storage tanks,
  • and backup chillers and hot water generators. 

The new system is a 1/10 scale of the campus CEF and incorporates all of the same concepts of heat recovery and thermal energy storage, demonstrating scalability of the main campus model. It is projected to provide 100% of the heating demand for the new campus through recovered waste heat, as well as save approximately $60 million in operating costs over 30 years compared to a traditional local building heating and cooling system.