Sensior Thesis Proposal


A proposal addresses a particular problem, and the proposed method of solution of the problem.


Original Proposal



Original:Dec 10th, 2012

Updated: Jan 12th, 2013



"American Art Museum (AAM) will be a 9 story building located in New York. AAM will be built with advance lighting and HVAC control systems to remain the thermal environment for art storage purpose. And, the design of AAM specifies the required efficiency of HVAC equipment in order to shorten the payback period. So, this proposal provides the ideas about designing a cost effective mechanical system and room layout.


Depth: Hybrid Cooling System

The in-depth mechanical project is to replace some of the electric chillers with absorption chiller(s). Since the electric price is increasing today, a steam or hybrid system may be a better option to save utility cost. A hybrid system is a combination of steam and electric chillers. This system is also suggested, especially there are limited budget and/or minimum rebundancy There are two avaliable fuels can be used in NY, natural gas and steam. Since AAM will be located in the area where the district heat system is provided, the waste steam can be used in a hybrid/steam cooling system during cooling months to lower the electric cost.


Breath 1&2: Rearrangement of Mechanical Equipment

Another proposed project with structural and acoustics consideration is to rearrange the mechanical equipment closed to the served areas. The goal of this arrangement is to minimize the energy loss in piping and ductwork. There will be a mechanical and electric room on 9th floor, where will be on top of a large gallery. In order to shift the mechanical equipment to 9th floor, the acoustical and structural impact will be considered, such as improving the acoustical treatment and resizing the structural components. The impact may raise the capital cost. The new rearrangement should be cost effective and cost balanced with the acoustical and structural impact.


In conclusion, the general goal in the proposal is to speed up the payback period by reasonably increasing the capital cost. This goal requires conducting a trial and error analysis in order to find an optimized solution.


MAE Course Relation

            The MAE courses related to this project are:

AE 557 Centralized Cooling System:

The ideas of absorption refrigeration in this course help to understand the impact to other mechanical components and the installation requirement of absorption chillers. Also, the lecture of AHRI Standard 550/590 and ASHRAE Standard 90.1 explains the potential energy saving of operating with multiple chillers instead of one. Third, this course mentions the requirements and needs of mechanical room layout.

AE 555 Building Control System:

This course provides different search methods that can be applied on HVAC operation, such as increasing the efficiency of HVAC system by changing the combination of mass flow rates, temperature setpoints, and part load ratios. This concept helps to find the cost effective combination of electric and absorption chillers, and also the well balanced layout of the mechanical room on 9th floor.


AE 551 Combined Heat and Power:

This course provides information of today fuel economy and theories of different cogeneration operations. It significantly gives the analysis of this project more alternatives of redesigning the HVAC system.


Revised Proposal