Skip to main content

Cornell University

Cooling Home

The Cornell University Chilled Water System has been in operation since the early 1960’s. It operates year round, producing approximately 40 million ton-hours of cooling each year for research processes as well as for general air conditioning of laboratory space, computer rooms, lecture/teaching areas and common spaces. The system serves 80 buildings totaling over 4.5 million square feet of air conditioned space, about 40% of the core campus. It delivers approximately 20,000 tons of cooling capacity at peak demand, circulating about 33,000 gallons per minute.

Cornell uses a "district energy" model, and today's system is one of the most energy efficient systems in the world.  It is also almost completely "renewable" via the Lake Source Cooling plant. The original plant is the Weinhold Chilled Water plant (Chilled Water Plant #1 - pictured at right) located on Forest Home Drive. This plant originally housed three Carrier 19C hermetic chillers that have since been decommissioned and removed as part of the Lake Source Cooling Project. The Weinhold Plant historically used Beebe Lake as a heat sink for the condensing system.

Lake Source Cooling (Medium Corp. Article): Innovation, energy efficiency and environmental sustainability... 17 years later (A Medium Corp. article)

The original Weinhold Chilled Water plant on Beebe Lake.

The original Weinhold Chilled Water plant on Beebe Lake. 

Cooling Production 

Lake Source Cooling, Thermal Storage Tank, Chilled Water Plants

Cooling Distribution 

District cooling distribution system

Lake Source Cooling