University of Wisconsin-Madison

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Interdisciplinary Professional Programs

Central Heating Plant Design See upcoming dates

Course Overview

Discover the design and equipment options available to you in central heating plant applications. You’ll be able to determine your load requirements, evaluate steam and hot water delivery systems, and compare their advantages and disadvantages. Daily problem-solving workshops will help you practice what you learn.

After attending this course, you will be able to:

  • Determine your facility’s heating requirements
  • Compare boiler and fuel types
  • Recognize critical factors in steam distribution systems
  • Evaluate hot water system pumping and pressure options
  • Identify applications for steam turbines
  • Select appropriate locations for central plants

Who Should Attend?

  • Design engineers 
  • Plant engineers 
  • Design-build contractors 
  • Owners 
  • Manufacturers’ application engineers 
  • Technical personnel responsible for planning, designing, or specifying boilers and related equipment

Course Outline

Day 1

Determining the facility requirements for heating

  • Steam Systems
  • Steam Delivery Pressures
  • Hot Water Systems
  • Advantages Steam/Hot Water
  • Advantages of Central Plant vs Distributed Generation
  • Opportunities for CHP

Load Determination, Evaluation, and Delivery Temperature

  • Load Definition
  • Load Evaluation Load Supply Temperature

Boiler Basics

  • Boiler Fuels (natural gas, coal, solid fuels, other)
  • Boiler types (A, D, O, HRSG)
  • Pressure Increments
    • Standard Pressures
    • Most Common and Why
    • Sat vs Superheated Steam
  • Fuel Feed Systems
    • Natural Gas
    • No. 2 FO
    • Solid Fuels
  • Economizers
  • Air Heaters
  • Combustion Air Intake
  • Stacks
  • Multiple Parallel Boilers
  • Boiler Burner Turn Down

Steam Distribution Basics

  • Supply Pressure Selection
  • Routing
  • Expansion
  • Corrosion Control
  • Condensate Return
  • Condensate Return Tanks

Boiler Feedwater Pumps

  • Principles of Operation
  • Components
  • Selection Parameters

Class Problem Workshop


Day 2 

Class Problem Review

Hot Water Distribution Basics

  • Primary/Secondary
  • Pumping
  • Pressure Control
  • Routing (radial, loops)

DA Heaters

  • Why Needed
  • Steam Requirements (pressure, flow)
  • Location

Boiler Feedwater Treatment

  • Impact of Steam Pressure
  • Common Systems
    • 150 psig Steam
    • 600 psig Steam
    • 800 psig Steam
  • Condensate Polishing
  • Hot Water Treatment Requirements

Steam Turbine Basic Definitions

  • BP
  • Cond
  • Extraction (controlled, uncontrolled)
  • Applications
  • Economics (BP, condensing)

Steam Turbine Sizing Workshop

Plant Siting Issues

  • Plant Siting issues
  • Building construction
  • Aesthetics
  • Utility Infrastructure
  • Noise Issues
  • Modular Plants
  • Central Plant General Arrangements
  • Phasing

Class Problem Workshop


Day 3

Class Problem Review

Other Systems

  • Compressed Air (instrument air, plant air)
  • Fuel Storage and handling
  • Cooling Towers
  • Plant Water

Building General Arrangements

  • Boilers
  • Fuel Systems
  • Electrical Requirements
  • I&C, Office Space, Restrooms/Breakrooms/Etc.


  • Emissions
  • Permitting

Code and Certification Issues

  • Code requirements
  • Energy efficiency
  • LEED 


Bradley Pankow

Mr. Pankow is a Senior Project Manager with Stanley Consultants, Inc. of Muscatine, Iowa. He has a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering and Master of Science in Engineering for the University of Wisconsin – Platteville in Platteville, Wisconsin, His professional experience since 1986 includes plant engineering, plant operations and maintenance leadership in the food and packaging industry, underground steam, hot water, and chilled water distribution system design and manufacturing, and engineering and design with Stanley Consultants since 2008. He has been involved with the design of central utility plants since joining Stanley Consultants. His work on central utility plants includes system design for steam and hot water generation and campus wide distribution, electricity generation, chilled water generation and distribution, compressed air systems, and facility layout for operability and maintenance.

Joy Altwies

Joy Altwies, PhD, PE, LEED AP+, is a program director for the University of Wisconsin-Madison Office of Interdisciplinary Professional Programs. Since 2004, Dr. Altwies has developed and taught continuing education courses emphasizing high performance building design and construction, mechanical system design and operation, energy efficiency, and commissioning.  She is also program director of the Master of Sustainable Systems Engineering (SSE) degree program and an instructor of two graduate courses in the program.

John Fetzer

John helps design, engineer and sell water purification systems for Total Water Treatment Systems, specializing in healthcare, laboratory, and Biotech applications. As an Industrial Sales Engineer for Total Water Treatment Systems he is responsible for applications primarily in the western regions of Wisconsin. Before coming to Total Water Treatment Systems John held several positions within the industry with companies such as Water Services Corporation, US Filter, Culligan and Hellenbrand. John has been in the water treatment industry since 1974.

Stephen Kiefer

Mr. Kiefer graduated from Washington University in St Louis in 1989 with a BS in Mechanical Engineering. He started his career with Ingersoll Rand Pump (later Ingersoll Dresser Pump) as an Applications Engineer in Chicago and eventually moved into Outside Sales handling Power Utility and Petrochemical Process end users and Consulting Engineers throughout the Midwest. In 1997, he left IDP to join Superior Industrial Equipment as a founding member and has been with Superior for 21 years. Superior Industrial Equipment is a rotating equipment distributor specializing in pumps, process gas compressors and mechanical seals and Steve continues to service Power Utility and Petrochemical Process end users as well as Consulting Engineers.

Ray Lukkarinen

Ray Lukkarinen, P.E., is a principal chemical engineer with Stanley Consultants. He held a variety of roles in production management and project engineering during 10 years in the food and beverage industry. He has been in consulting since 2007 and currently serves as a project manager on multidiscipline design efforts. He has experience with a variety of environmental assessments and studies for cogeneration, central plant, and boiler and steam distribution systems. Ray is currently licensed in 15 states and possesses subject matter expertise in Boiler MACT, RICE NESHAP, and Combined Heat and Power.

Vandy Parthasarathy

David Salem

David Salem, Managing Partner, Brad Thompson Company. For over 25 years Mr. Salem has sold and developed fossil based energy projects. He has extensive experience with steam turbines from 200kw to 200MW. He helped Alstom Power develop the steam turbine market in North America in the 90’s then worked for Elliott, Siemens, and finally developed his own steam turbine packaging company, AirClean Energy. Presently, Mr. Salem is focused on distributed energy systems under 30MW. He has recent experience providing CHP based steam turbines to universities, ethanol clients, forest product clients and waste heat recovery systems.

Mr. Salem is Chemical Engineer from University of Massachusetts, His work passion is energy recovery & efficiency improvements. Mr. Salem lives in Seattle WA and travels the North American market for distributed energy.

John Yash

John Yash is a past regional service manager at Babcock & Wilcox Co. John’s experience includes starting up and troubleshooting industrial and utility boilers of all types, sizes, and fuels. Most recently, he was the commissioning manager for B&W/KBR’s 3000 ton per day waste to energy project in West Palm Beach, FL. The project was the first of its kind in more than 15 years and the most advanced and cleanest waste-to-energy power plant in North America. In his 47 years John has hired and trained hundreds of entry level engineers within the power generating industry.

Upcoming dates (0)

Take this course when it’s offered next!