Over the last several months CRL has undertaken several major upgrades to the facility. These projects represent the latest step in a multi-year initiative focused on improving the Center’s collections environment, and increasing energy efficiency.
New cooling coils have now been installed in the air handlers serving the north side stacks, which include CRL’s hard copy newspaper collections. The strategic replacement of outdated cooling coils protects CRL’s collections from the effects of a lengthy HVAC system shutdown that might be caused by the failure of an aged coil.
Two outdated and thus unreliable chiller units were replaced on the south side on CRL’s facility with more efficient fifty-ton Carrier scrolling chillers. (The two other chillers were replaced in 2011.) These units will promote a more reliable preservation environment for collections, while reducing energy usage through adaptive chilled water temperature settings and variable frequency pumps that can conserve energy when environmental conditions do not require full dehumidification and cooling.
Aided by a generous grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, CRL is in the process of replacing all sensors and control software for the HVAC system. This new Building Automation System will more accurately monitor environmental conditions, and respond accordingly to changes in conditions. Reactive temperature set points and Variable Air Volume control boxes will efficiently heat and cool office and processing areas, and maintain better preservation conditions in storage areas while minimizing energy consumption.