CS_ReganWhile in the Oval Office, Ronald Reagan kept a sign on his desk that said simply: It can be done.

Administrators of his presidential library took the same approach to installation of an innovative, efficient, environmentally-friendly energy system for the facility that houses the late president’s legacy.

“The environment is a big concern for a lot of big businesses, as it is for us,” said John Lehne, Facilities Manager for the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California. “We wanted to make sure the system we installed provided not only the needs and requirements of cooling and energizing the building, but also leaving as little of a carbon footprint on the environment.”

It could be, and was, done.

Perched atop a hill with sweeping views of Southern California, the 100,000-square-foot Library gets 95 percent of its energy from 16 Capstone microturbines. It also provides electricity for the Air Force One Pavilion, home to Air Force One, tail number 27000, which flew seven U.S. presidents.

The 16 natural-gas C60 microturbines were commissioned at the Library in October 2005. The installed system consists of three UTC PureComfort™ packages, each with four Capstone microturbines and a Carrier absorption chiller. The system also includes four stand-alone Capstone C60 (60kW) units.

In addition to producing 960kW of electricity, the microturbines provide heating and cooling for the buildings through combined cooling, heating, and power (CCHP). This trigeneration method adds to the system’s efficiency by using recyclable heat from power generation for heating, cooling or industrial process purposes.

At A Glance:

Location: Simi Valley, California, USA
Commissioned: October, 2005
Fuel:
• Natural gas
Technologies:
• The 100,000-square-foot Library gets 95 percent of its energy from 16 Capstone C60 MicroTurbines®, which can produce 960kW of electricity.
• The turbines provide the heating and cooling for the buildings through a combined cooling, heating, and power (CCHP) application.
• The direct exhaust-fired absorption chillers capture thermal energy from the microturbines to provide 387-tons of refrigeration for cooling the Library and Pavilion.
Results:
• The Library’s system runs on natural gas, which has a much lower impact on the environment than traditional fuels.
• The system has had 100 percent availability since its installation.