Proposed downtown Bradenton chiller plant will yield various problems

January 9, 2014 

To Bradenton City Councilman Harold Byrd;

I write because your name appeared in the Bradenton Herald regarding the chiller program.

I live in Bradenton and retired as a professional firefighter. I also owned and worked for more than 20 years as a licensed mechanical contractor in Michigan up until 1983, when I retired and moved to Florida.

I am not aware of your knowledge of this form of energy transfer, but it is considered a high maintenance way of cooling and heating a building. All of these systems contain high levels of acidity because of the continual adding of feeder water and temperature changes.

Chemical feeder programs are available to correct this action, but most installations lack such science. Because the water is acidic, it attacks piping, especially at the threaded joints, pumps, seals, couplers, and other controls necessary for the operation of this system.

It results in many hidden costs and maintenance situations, which can drastically shorten the life of the system if not done on a systematic and scheduled program.

Like many government entities, the idea of a centralized system is the selling point without consideration to the latent and distribution procedures.

Also consider that when the central chiller goes down, the whole system fails, unlike multiple cooling systems, which have a redundancy automatically built in. The heat gain from extended piping and radiation must also be a consideration.

I would not recommend a central chiller. It is a nightmare waiting to happen. It is expensive to install and maintain, and neutralizes any bottom line profit.

Gary D. Bogart


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