Research Project Information

Research Project Summary Information

Combined Cooling Heat and Power Feasibility Study at the Urban Horizons Building(ST9929-1)

Steven Winter Associates, Inc.


The site is a former hospital built in the 1920s and completely rehabilitated in the 1990s,as Urban Horizons. The building contains 194,000 sq ft, of which 30,000 sq ft is a combination of commercial space, class rooms and a commercial kitchen. The remaining space includes 132 apartments and a large basement. Modular boilers in the basement provide all heating and domestic hot water for the building. There is no central cooling system. A 2002 NYSERDA funded energy audit recommended replacement of the heating and domestic hot water systems, as well as lighting improvements. A CHP pre-screening indicated that there is a potential for CHP if the meters can be aggregated. There is interest in installing a photovoltaic system.

Map Error

Project Description

A CHP feasibility study at the Urban Horizons building will be performed to gather actual data that will replace previous assumptions used for estimate calculations. The study will also serve to integrate the CHP system with the design of a proposed photovoltaic system, and evaluate the performance of CHP assuming all electric meters tied to less than one master meter. The Contractor will install data loggers, water temperature thermistors, and ultrasonic flow meters to collect 15-minute interval data during a week of summer occupancy, then again during a week of winter occupancy. From this data, thermal loads and electrical loads will be estimated to fit the occupancy of the building. With this data, a micro turbine will be sized accordingly, matched to on-site capacity, and capital costs will be predicted. Included with this will be standby tariff designators, and standby rate charges, to predict the revenue stream which the CHP would provide. All of this will be evaluated for feasibility of whether to proceed further with CHP.


This study will provide information needed by the building owners to proceed with the development of a CHP system. A 2002 energy audit performed by NYSERDA indicated that the heating and domestic hot water systems were in need of replacement. If this feasibility study supports economics, the systems in need of replacing would benefit from the CHP installation. In this project case, it is best to use the electricity produced from the CHP engine for the main building, while capturing all of the low grade waste heat and supply it to all hot water loads in the building, including individual apartments, and commercial kitchen. Heat will also be supplied to the hydronic heating system for the facility. The CHP system would offset ~ 500 MWH of grid-provided electricity, assuming 8% transmission losses. The CHP system suggested is capable of operating independently from the grid, and therefore the customer would avoid the additional costs and space constraints associated with installing a backup generator.

Project Results

Feasibility study was conducted that included data collection to establish baseline annual energy consumption within the facility. Both electric and natural gas accounts were surveyed, along with instrumented data collection that determined the main facility’s electrical usage, hot water usage from apartments, common area and commercial kitchen, and the heating system data for both apartments and common area. The completed feasibility study will be utilized by the customer (WHEDCo) to apply for funding under the NYSERDA MPP CHP program for multifamily housing. Using the established load profiles, economics was applied and it was determined that a 100 kW CHP system would be feasible for serving the building’s entire hot water load, while serving the main building’s electric load, excluding the individual apartments. The task of aggregating individual apartment electrical meters into one master meter/submeter configuration is NOT economical, and includes installation and administrative costs, which burden the task. Although it would be possible to use the waste heat from the CHP system to run an absorption cooling system in the summer season, the conversion costs associated with a central chilled water system are prohibitive.


Steven Winter Associates, Inc.
61 Washington St
Norwalk, CT 06854

Principle Investigator

Dominique Lempereur

Universities Involved


Project Type:

Research Study

Technologies Types:

Energy Power Supply

NYSERDA Contact Information

Gregory Pedrick


R&D -Transport & Power Systems

Contract Details

Start Date: 1/11/2010
Project Status: Active
Contract Number: ST9929-1

Last Updated: 3/28/2012