"Scott Air Force Base is Committed to Improving Energy Efficiency Through LEED Quality Standards.”
COOLING TOWER RAINWATER HARVESTING PROJECT
The Illinois based Scott Air Force Base is a major command center for the Air Mobility Command and has endured a rich and proud command history since its construction during WW1 in 1917. As a major command center for transportation and airlift operations, nearly 46,000 people work and live at Scott AFB today. This also means that the base consumes a great deal of energy in everyday operations. Today nearly 10% of the Air Force budget is for energy which the base aims to decrease and reallocate by pursuing an increased effort to reduce energy consumption by way of renewable resources. Within the past decade, Scott AFB has worked hard to build and retrofit structures to more readily align with the full array of energy efficient LEED standards.
LEED stands for “Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design” and incorporates multiple certification tiers of which measure a structures’ affinity with energy efficient construction, maintenance and operation. One recent example is a newly constructed cooling tower system for the Defense Information Security Agency building. The project highlights efforts to develop a LEED based complex, by installing an underground rainwater storage system with an NSBB hydrodynamic separator unit to filter, store and cycle rainwater for use in the building’s cooling tower. The building can use millions of gallons of water for cooling per season. Harvesting rainwater runoff for cooling tower use substantially lowers upkeep costs and municipal water use effectively lowering the overall energy budget.
NSBB™ Collaborates on Cooling
The first excavation phase of the new cooling tower rainwater harvest system began in the summer of 2015. A large area was excavated to make way for the buried cooling tower rainwater harvesting system which will save energy and money as a self sustained cooling solution. Cooling towers can use millions of gallons of water per season with almost continuous usage during warm months. The system will meet demand by being supplied by rainwater runoff primarily from the DISA CONUS rooftops and parking lots. Rainwater is naturally soft, usually free of sediments, nutrients and metals but runoff coming from the parking lot must be specially filtered to remove such pollutants. The decision for use of the NSBB is due to high removal rates of both debris and particulate pollutants down to 125 microns. Furthermore, the included StormBoom™ has the ability to absorb an array of oils and hydrocarbons which may contaminate runoff from the parking lot.
Rainwater Harvesting System Cleans, Retains & Recycles
The NSBB unit manages and maintains the cleanliness of the harvested rainwater in the cooling cycle system. It negates any need for the use of expensive chemical water softeners inside the cooling tower. An NSBB or Nutrient Separating Baffle Box® is a hydrodynamic separator developed by Suntree Technologies Inc®, an Oldcastle Infrastructure™ company, specializing in online sediment and nutrient capture without the typical associated headloss and scouring. It’s patented lidded screen basket prevents nutrient leaching and static water from turning septic as a result of standing trash and debris. This is accomplished through the dry state storage of solid pollutants via the suspended basket. The NSBB unit also includes a skimmer with StormBoom to prevent debris from passing through the vault during high flows and to absorb hydrocarbons with an absorption media.
Suntree Technologies previously installed the NSBB internal components prior to delivery which do not require confined space entry for maintenance, effectively saving time, effort and upkeep costs. The delivery and installation of the vault structure took only a day to complete as a joint effort between River City Construction, Wahaso Water Harvesting Solutions, the Army Corps of Engineers and Suntree Technologies. The NSBB vastly improves the water quality of runoff being stored in the harvesting system tanks and prevents pollution of any trash, sediment, hydrocarbons and nutrients. Scott AFB is committed to improving its energy efficiency through LEED standards. By ensuring a sustainable cooling solution the reallocation of energy budget savings is another step closer and the base another shade greener.
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