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Central Heating and Cooling Plants

The Campus has two separate central plants that provide the heating and cooling for the Stony Brook Campus. The East Plant provides services for the University Hospital, Health Sciences Center and Basic Science Tower. The West Plant provides services to the University's academic and non-academic buildings on the Main Campus.

During normal operation, steam is supplied from the on-site Cogeneration Plant to both plants. When the Cogeneration Plant is not operating, steam is generated by boilers in the central plants. In each plant the steam, whether supplied by the Cogeneration Plant or generated at the plant, is converted to high temperature hot water at approximately 350°F via direct contact "cascade" heaters. The hot water is circulated through a network of underground piping to heat the campus buildings. Some of the piping is buried underground while other portions are in tunnels.

The steam is also used to drive steam turbines, which are connected to large chillers that produce chilled water at approximately 41°F for cooling. The chilled water is circulated in a separate network of underground piping to each of the academic (West Campus) and East Campus buildings. In the buildings the chilled water is used to provide central air-conditioning. The non-academic buildings (dormitories) are not connected to the chilled water system.

The central heating and cooling plants are manned 24 hours per day, 7 days per week. The plants are shut down periodically during "shoulder" seasons to perform maintenance and conduct safety inspections.

Specific duties provided in support of the University are as follows:

  • Monitor and control steam provided from the Cogeneration Plant;
  • Monitor medium and low pressure steam reducing stations in the heating plants;
  • Adjust hot water flows and temperatures to maintain heating to the campus;
  • Maintain and operate boilers regularly to produce steam for campus heating & cooling needs;
  • Operate steam turbine drive and electric chillers to provide air conditioning to the main campus, hospital and HSC areas;
  • Operate and maintain all main and auxiliary equipment such as boilers, pumps, motors, breakers, air compressors, cooling towers, well pumps, and water treatment;
  • Maintain proper water chemistry in water loops to minimize corrosion and scaling;
  • Maintain and periodically inspect bulk oil tank storage farm (east plant only), which includes maintaining pumps, equipment, conducting regulatory tank inspections and receiving bulk fuel oil truck deliveries.