The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Fire in power plant causes no A/C

A+study+published+by+Environment+Texas+reported+40+days+of+polluted+air+in+the+Bryan-College+Station+area+for+2020.%26%23160%3B
Photo by FILE

A study published by Environment Texas reported 40 days of polluted air in the Bryan-College Station area for 2020. 

The cooling system failed on main campus Sept. 26, creating discomfort for students, faculty and staff.
The standing heat in yesterday’s classrooms across east portion of campus between Wellborn and Texas Ave. was due to a small electrical fire before 6:30 a.m. at the central utilities plant. Karen Bigley, communications manager for the division of finance and operations, said that everything was back up and running by noon, and by approximately 3:30 p.m. the buildings affected were back to their normal temperatures of 70 to 75 degrees.
Bigley said the crews immediately extinguished the fire and began running undamaged portions of the system on an alternative energy source.
“That fire took out power to the chilled water system,” Bigley said. “So they brought up some of the chilled water system on an alternate power source, until they could correct the problem where the electrical fire had happened, and then they brought up the rest of the system.”
The unit runs on a chilled water system rather than individual central air conditioners.
“The chilled water system is a little different than your traditional air conditioner,” Bigley said. “Chilled water actually circulates through the campus to cool the buildings. It’s not like at an apartment or a house where there is an individual air conditioning unit for a building.”
Rangeland ecology and management junior Eric Lindley said the heat and humidity became difficult to bear in classrooms and some professors even canceled class because of it.
“In my architecture class, my first class of the day, it was so hot in there that I couldn’t pay attention,” Lindley said. “I literally was sitting there sweating and I couldn’t focus because I was so worried about getting my paper wet or something like that. It was that bad.”

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