Utilities Operations

Utilities Operations units are responsible for campus central utilities, including day-to-day operations and management along with master planning and utility construction management.

Chilled Water and Steam

The Chilled Water Production and Steam Unit is responsible for 9 campus chilled water plants, housing 36 water-cooled chillers, totaling 42,735 tons of cooling capacity. The design of the central district system allows for various plants to be connected to support chilled water demand and to provide needed redundancy for campus buildings. The chiller plants, including the Law Center, McCarty, Rabon, Southeast, Southwest, Walker, Weil, West Campus, and the newest plant, Chilled Water Plant #10, provide the needed capacity for the main campus.

The university campus uses steam for a variety of purposes including building space heating, hot water heating and laboratory processes. The campus receives steam from Duke Energy’s Cogeneration Plant and is responsible for the distribution network that connects a majority of the buildings on campus for steam use. The university also operates a 1 megawatt electrical generator that uses excess steam to produce power for the chiller plants. Chilled Water and Steam Distribution Piping make approximately 50 miles of underground pipe connecting plants to buildings, through an underground network that covers the majority of the campus.

Electrical Distribution

The Electrical Distribution Unit is responsible for all campus electrical distribution infrastructure from the point of high voltage acceptance (from Duke Energy) to the building interface point of building transformers. This unit is also responsible for streetlights , common walkway lighting and campus traffic signals.

Duke Power presently supplies UF with electricity, which UF transforms to distribution level voltages to various buildings and locations across campus. The university electrical grid rivals that of most small cities, with 13 power substations connected by over 600 miles of electrical cable and 700 high voltage switches connecting 1,100 building transformers. There are also 5,000 street and walkway light fixtures that this unit maintains to help provide a safe campus. Our electrical system is the backbone of the campus utility system and this team works continually to ensure reliable service to the university.

Planning and Project Management

To support ongoing campus growth and maintain existing systems, the Utilities Operations Unit uses in-house technical experts in electrical, mechanical and civil engineering to manage utility and infrastructure-related projects. Project managers also are responsible to maintain and recommend changes to University construction standards and utility policies and procedures.

Potable Water, Reclaimed Water and Waste Water Treatment

The University’s Water Reclamation Facility processes over 3 million gallons daily, using the Kurger BIO-DENIPHO PROCESS. This process makes an end product suitable for use as reclaimed water, used for campus irrigation and for steam production by Duke Energy’s Cogeneration Plant. The plant includes laboratories for campus teaching and research through its partnership with UF TREEO.

The Water Distribution Unit installs and repairs piping for campus potable water, reclaimed (irrigation) water, and a collection system with piping for campus waste water. This unit is responsible for the maintenance and repair of over 52 miles of water mains, 320 fire hydrants, 36 miles of gravity mains, 42 pump stations and more them 3 miles of force mains. All these systems require extensive proactive work to help insure safe and reliable service for the University.