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Poor Dartmouth

DanHolohan
DanHolohan Member, Moderator, Administrator Posts: 16,492
edited February 2022 in THE MAIN WALL
Retired and loving it.

Comments

  • franzsf
    franzsf Member Posts: 13
    Dartmouth offers degrees in engineering, up to the Ph.D. level. Wouldn’t you think that, over all these years, at least one of those students would have checked out the heating system in the president’s house?


    My dad is a (retired) PhD professor of electrical engineering. When I was ten or so, I watched him and his PhD professor colleague spend a day trying to install a dimmer switch in our dining room. I love my dad, but I think there's a sometimes a world of difference between theory and practice.
    SteamBoilerJakeCKdelcrossvPC7060
  • ratio
    ratio Member Posts: 3,605
    Thinking isn't too popular any more, especially in institutes of higher-training.
    delcrossv
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 9,475
    About 80% of their graduates think they are too good to work there and won't work for what they are willing to pay...
  • SlamDunk
    SlamDunk Member Posts: 1,558
    Here’s to preventative maintenance, a practice that’s often overlooked. When the laws of physics and the laws of economics collide, the laws of economics nearly always win in the short run. The laws of physics, however, don’t care about anyone’s budget, or anyone’s ignorance. The laws of physics just win in the end. Always.


    This sums it up as neatly as possible!
    CanuckerHVACNUTSuperTech
  • Jon_blaney
    Jon_blaney Member Posts: 314
    When I started a job at the local university, I asked the head of maintenance about their PM plan. His reply, "when it breaks, we fix it". For years I watched them patch holes in the same underground steam main. I would joke with other staff that I expected them to try and tap one of those mysterious thermal vents to heat a building. Every time someone writes in with their questions about leaking copper pipe in their slab floor, I see the backhoe out across campus digging up a steam line to put on a patch.
  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 5,627
    What would be a PM for an underground steam pipe?
    NJ Steam Homeowner. See my sight glass boiler videos: https://bit.ly/3sZW1el
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 9,475
    Replacement every 50 years or so. Testing and repair of steam traps maybe annually or so.
  • Solid_Fuel_Man
    Solid_Fuel_Man Member Posts: 2,646
    Some type of material which we have invented in the last 100 years which doesn't rot..... 
    Serving Northern Maine HVAC & Controls. I burn wood, it smells good!
  • bburd
    bburd Member Posts: 893
    edited February 2022
    An avid tinkerer before college, I would have loved to get my hands on some of the HVAC equipment there. We had district steam feeding steam radiation, hot water converters, air handlers and chillers— some of them steam absorbers. Older buildings had pneumatic or analog electronic controls, and DDC was just coming into the new ones.

    The place was a union shop, and the unions were very sensitive about anyone else touching “their” work— to the point that when one student organization stenciled their logo on the walls of their basement  space, they had to pay a fine to the painters’ union.

    I had to content myself with filing work order requests for things like missing pneumatic thermostats that led to systems never shutting off…

    The dorms mostly had outdoor temperature controls with no room thermostats, and most were routinely overheated. One dining hall had multiple indoor thermostats but was at least 80° on cold winter days for years, and despite an army of technicians crawling over the place they couldn’t fix it until they gut renovated the building.

    Bburd
    Solid_Fuel_Man
  • DanHolohan
    DanHolohan Member, Moderator, Administrator Posts: 16,492
    Great story, @bburd. Where was the college? Thanks!
    Retired and loving it.
  • bburd
    bburd Member Posts: 893
    edited February 2022
    This was in Philadelphia.

    A few friends and I also had fun getting into the steam tunnels and mechanical rooms when they were occasionally left unlocked. Just to look at stuff.

    Bburd
    Solid_Fuel_Man
  • DanHolohan
    DanHolohan Member, Moderator, Administrator Posts: 16,492
    Good steam town. 
    Retired and loving it.
    bburd
  • cross_skier
    cross_skier Member Posts: 201
    Dartmouth should look at best practices from another Ivy League University, Cornell.

    https://fcs.cornell.edu/departments/energy-sustainability/utilities/heating-distribution
    delcrossv
  • delcrossv
    delcrossv Member Posts: 688

    Dartmouth should look at best practices from another Ivy League University, Cornell.

    https://fcs.cornell.edu/departments/energy-sustainability/utilities/heating-distribution

    A REAL engineering school. 👍
    Trying to squeeze the best out of a Weil-McLain JB-5 running a 1912 1 pipe system.
    PC7060
  • PC7060
    PC7060 Member Posts: 1,140
    edited February 2022
    delcrossv said:
    Dartmouth should look at best practices from another Ivy League University, Cornell.

    https://fcs.cornell.edu/departments/energy-sustainability/utilities/heating-distribution
    A REAL engineering school. 👍

    And JHU in Baltimore with their cogeneration system is pretty hot!
    https://www.mikespecian.com/2013/11/21/jhu-feels-power-with-cogeneration-plant/
    But you will need to go to the JHU Applied Physic Lab campus a few miles down the road for their best engineering program. ;)
    delcrossvcross_skier
  • DanHolohan
    DanHolohan Member, Moderator, Administrator Posts: 16,492
    One of my favorite Dead Men, Rolla C. Carpenter, was a big deal at Cornell, and at a pivotal time for the heating industry:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rolla_C._Carpenter
    Retired and loving it.
    Solid_Fuel_ManPC7060cross_skier
  • TAG
    TAG Member Posts: 755
    I dated someone from Dartmouth ... I can attest it was hot. Is Bburd talking about my old hunting ground? We adjusted the winter temps with the windows
  • bburd
    bburd Member Posts: 893
    TAG said:
    I dated someone from Dartmouth ... I can attest it was hot. Is Bburd talking about my old hunting ground? We adjusted the winter temps with the windows
    No, I was referring to a school in Philadelphia, where we also made much use of the “double hung zone valve”.

    Bburd
    PC7060
  • TAG
    TAG Member Posts: 755
    BB -- I went to school in Philly. Heated with steam loop .... My friend was out on the main line at another with a steam plant next to it ..... it seems all those steam systems had the potential to overheat the buildings
    bburd
  • cross_skier
    cross_skier Member Posts: 201
    I think all systems have a potential to be bad.  It takes the institution's leaders to realize the system must have worked as designed many years ago.  Those leaders have to make the effort to recruit the right team.

    You don't want to hire the guys who say, "you got what you got".
  • TAG
    TAG Member Posts: 755

    I think all systems have a potential to be bad.  It takes the institution's leaders to realize the system must have worked as designed many years ago.  Those leaders have to make the effort to recruit the right team.

    You don't want to hire the guys who say, "you got what you got".

    Agree. Both of my places in the Philadelphia -- one in Center City and the other in Chestnut Hill had very old systems. The CC house predated heat and the CH house was original pre WWI .... both worked great once they had guys who knew how to put them back to original and fix the valves gone bad
  • archibald tuttle
    archibald tuttle Member Posts: 1,078
    IIRC Brown circulates high pressure hot water throughout the campus with steam generated at the metered exit to each building. i haven't really detected a sense of whether the buildings are perennially overheated. I'm also unsure of the mix of emitters between traditional radiation and fan coils. Sounds like most of the problems reported in this article could be managed with systematic steam trap maintenance and possibly thermostatically controlled rad valves.

    I love how these administrators act like they know what is feasible. if they did, they wouldn't have to replace heating systems to get them to work. balance will always be challenging but the results on display sound like maintenance not system suitability problems. (And I doubt their dormitories couldn't be renovated with radiant floor pouring gypcrete over the existing floors. There could be a question of the cost versus hydronic fan coils but not as infeasible as suggested).