Rochester District Heating Cooperative, Inc. is a non-profit agency that
generates and distributes more than 400 million pounds of high-pressure,
superheated steam annually to more than 40 customers in the downtown Rochester
area. The owners of RDH approached Erdman Anthony to review their current steam
production facility and provide various strategies that would result in overall
reductions in the cost of producing the steam.
Erdman Anthony engineers
studied the existing steam generating plant and the ancillary equipment and
complex piping network. The engineering team proposed eight different
strategies, all unique in scope and with their own pros and cons, risks, and
rewards. A life-cycle analysis of all eight scenarios was completed, including
initial capital expenditure, annual maintenance costs, and annual energy
savings. The strategies that were studied included returning condensate from all
of the customers back to the steam plant; installing cogeneration equipment
within the steam plant to generate electricity, which could be sold to the power
grid; distributing reduced-pressure steam; and converting the high-pressure
steam distribution system to a high-temperature hot water system.
Estimated capital expenditures ranged from $2 million to $15 million.
Annual savings ranged from $500,000 to $1.5 million. Simple paybacks ranged from
4.5 years to 11.5 years.
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