"Scott Air Force Base is Committed to Improving Energy Efficiency Through LEED Quality Standards.”
COOLING TOWER RAINWATER HARVESTING PROJECT
The Scott Air Force Base in Illinois is a major command center centering around 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 Air Force Base 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 Air Force Base has worked hard to build and retrofit structures to conform to LEED standards for energy efficiency.
LEED stands for “Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design” which incorporates multiple certification tiers that measure a structures’ affinity with energy efficient construction, service and operation. One recent example is the newly constructed cooling tower system for the Defense Information Security Agency building. The project highlights efforts to develop a LEED complex, by installing an underground rainwater storage system with an NSBB™ unit to filter and recycle 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 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 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 near 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 debris and particulates down to 125 microns as well as the ability to absorb hydrocarbons which may contaminate runoff from the parking lot.
Rainwater Harvesting System Cleans, Retains & Recycles
The NSBB™ hydrodynamic separator manages and maintains the cleanliness of the harvested rainwater in the cooling system. It negates any need for the use of expensive chemical water softeners inside the cooling tower. The NSBB™ is developed by Suntree Technologies Inc® and specializes in online sediment and nutrient capture without the typical headloss and scouring. It’s patented lidded screen basket prevents nutrient leaching and static water from turning septic from standing trash and debris. This is accomplished through the dry state storage of solid pollutants via the suspended basket. The NSBB™ 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 was completed within a day as a joint effort between the River City Construction Company, Wahaso Water Harvesting Solutions, the Army Corps of Engineers, Suntree Technologies Inc® and Wieser Concrete. The NSBB™ vastly improves the water quality of runoff being stored in the harvesting system tanks and prevents pollution of any solids, hydrocarbons and nutrients. Scott AFB is committed to improving its energy efficiency via 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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