2023 Spring Cooling Reminder

TB Simon Power Plant

March 31, 2023

MSU follows a systematic and environmentally conscious plan when cooling campus buildings during the warmer months. Each year, MSU expects to be ready to provide cooling to campus facilities starting mid-spring. An exact date is dependent upon weather trends and sustained above-freezing temperatures.

Factors to prepare campus buildings for cooling include:

  • Campus priorities — Buildings with ongoing research are prioritized over those that need comfort cooling.
  • Lead time — It takes at least two weeks for staff to finalize the process for starting the air-conditioning equipment.
  • Timing — It is not economically or environmentally feasible to finalize the start-up of the cooling process more than once each spring. Appropriate timing is critical.

MSU uses steam absorbers to convert steam from the power plant into chilled water to provide cooling for a number of campus buildings. Buildings that use this process are switched seasonally. The cooling process for steam absorption includes:

  • Absorption chillers convert steam from the power plant into chilled water for cooling purposes.
  • Excess heat is transferred from the building to water that is circulated to a cooling tower and released into the air.

MSU also has several electric chillers that also use cooling towers that require the same seasonal activities as absorption chillers.

By taking these factors into account each year, the cooling plan for campus and other energy conservation measures ensure that the campus community has a safe and “Spartan Green” spring.

To report problems or ask questions about your building’s heating or cooling equipment, call Contact IPF at (517) 353‐1760. If the problem is not urgent, you may e‐mail ContactIPF@msu.edu.

Please share this information with the appropriate contacts within your building.