23 Million Passengers, Massive Growth and Hot, Humid Virginia Summers Create A Challenge For Dulles Airport—Trane Creates A Solution.
Since opening in 1962, Dulles Airport has grown by leaps and bounds. Today nearly 23 million passengers pass through
Dulles every year. And with plans to add more terminals, that number will certainly rise. The high passenger loads and reliably steamy
Virginia summers have created a challenge for the Dulles HVAC systems. “The old chillers were short on capacity and couldn’t satisfy the
cooling load on hot, humid summer days. The chilled water temperature would keep increasing,” according to Steve Friga, Dulles HVAC
supervisor. With the old system not producing desired results and a planned terminal addition that would require 36,000 tons of cooling
capacity, Dulles needed a new plan. So they called Trane.
Friga and the Dulles facilities team worked with Boland Trane of Rockville, MD to design a new chiller plant. By working
together they concluded that the high load demands would be best met with TRANE CenTraVac™ chillers. CenTraVac high efficiency chillers
reduce demands on resources with Trane’s low-pressure refrigerant technology. These chillers are also virtually free from refrigerant
leakage problems and are less noisy than high-pressure systems. In the end, Dulles new chiller plant consisted of eight Trane 2,000-ton
Duplex CenTraVac centrifugal chillers each equipped with a Unit Control Module (UCM) that provide precision chiller control and interface
with the airport’s energy management system.
With Trane’s CenTraVac chillers Dulles can look forward to energy efficiency five-to-seven percent greater than they would
have received with HFC-134a or HFC-22 high pressure designs. The new Trane Chillers produce 36-degree chilled water to work with new
air-handling coils, which, while improving comfort and efficiency, also allowed for smaller chilled water piping—which greatly reduced
installation costs. Additional savings were achieved by fitting the airport’s air handling units with variable frequency drives. In the
end Dulles got a more efficient system that could handle their extreme load demands and Trane got another customer for life.
Since opening in 1962, Washington Dulles International Airport has grown by leaps and bounds. Today,
Washington Dulles International Airport employs more than 15,400 people and the airport generates
$4.1 billion in business revenues for the regional economy. Thirty-four passenger airlines and four cargo
carriers serve Dulles. Nonstop service is offered daily to 71 U.S. cities and 37 foreign cities. More than
50 shops and restaurants are located throughout the airport facilities. During 2004 the airport served
nearly 23 million travelers.