The centralized heating and chiller plants provide steam and chilled water to many campus facilities. The centralized plants are generally more efficient than having heating and cooling equipment in each building.
The central heating plant provides steam to the majority of buildings on campus for heating, hot water, autoclaves, warming ovens and steam humidification. Three large boilers are capable of burning natural gas, fuel oil or coal. Coal is limited to use during the heating season and the quantity of coal that can be burned is limited by the operating permit issued by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. Buildings that are not connected to central steam, for instance, Clearly Alumni Center and Veteran’s Memorial Stadium, have facility specific high efficiency natural gas boilers.
UW-L’s central chiller plant has three centrifugal chillers. All of them feed into a closed loop system so that water is re-used. The chilled water is used in the warmer months as a way to cool and dehumidify air in campus buildings. While UW-L does have a central chiller plant, not all campus buildings are connected to it.