Installing Heat Pumps At The Cape May Point Science Center

Installing Heat Pumps At The Cape May Point Science Center.

The Cape May Point Science Center is located in a historic property adjacent to the Cape May lighthouse. The property has a long history. It was part of the Underground Railroad in New Jersey, helping escaped slaves from the Delmarva Peninsula in the 1800’s. It then became the site of the famous Shoreham Hotel in 1889, which has hosted presidents, well- known citizens and even John Wanamaker. In 1909, the hotel was purchased by The Sisters of Saint Joseph and was used as a retreat to care for the sisters until 2012. The building also became a key location during World War II as a place to defend Philadelphia, the Delaware Bay and the Philadelphia Ship Yards from German U-Boats due to its strategic location.

The Cape May Point Science Center began taking shape in 2022, when residents and the Sisters of Saint Joseph came together to look for a way to preserve the aging property. Together, the group has created a multi-disciplinary science center, to educate adults and young people about the important environmental ecosystem in Cape May, where the Atlantic Ocean meets the Delaware Bay. Cape May serves as an important stop for migrating birds, raptors and even Monarch butterflies.

Problem: Historic Cape May Point Science Center needed a new heating and cooling system that would allow them to use the buildings year round. Getting an environmentally friendly solution that would also keep energy bills low was critical for this environmentally-focused non-profit.

Solution: A series of Daikin mini-split heat pumps will provide both heating and cooling throughout the building, creating zones to make sure every space can get the heating and cooling it needs, independent of each other. In addition, Broadley’s installed two high efficiency hot water boilers and helped create solutions to allow three historic ice boxes to function as refrigerators again!

Learn More About Ductless Mini Splits

HVAC Solutions For Renovating Historic Buildings

For several years, the historic buildings were vacant, and like any unused property, especially near the ocean, the buildings were being negatively affected. The old oil heating system coughed up smoke when it was first turned on after years of disuse, and it was clear that the system needed to be replaced! The Science Center wanted to make sure it was replaced with something that was more in keeping with the environmental focus of the Center. In addition to upgrading the current heating, they needed to add air conditioning to allow the Science Center to host events year-round.

A Ductless Mini Split Is Perfect For Renovations!

The Cape May Point Science Center reached out to Broadley’s to begin an Energy Assessment through our Small Business Direct Install Program and to see what needed to be done to bring the buildings back into working order. Through this assessment, we knew this would be a big job, and we needed to keep several important factors in mind. We would need to remove the old oil equipment and dispose of it in an environmentally- conscious way. We would need to design new heating and cooling systems that were energy efficient both to be environmentally friendly, but also to keep costs down for this non-profit organization. And we needed to make sure the historic property was honored and preserved as it was being updated and improved.

The historic building also had some interesting features. Old wooden ice boxes- refrigerators that depended on large blocks of ice to keep things cool- were still present. If they could be preserved, they could serve as refrigerators again and allow the facility to be used for dinner, banquets and events moving forward.

The solution needed to work with the existing buildings, deal with the existing structures and footings and be unobtrusive if possible. And due to the size of the buildings, creating separate zones of heating and cooling would also be important, to allow separate control of temperatures in different parts of the building, to allow for different uses.

Our experienced Direct Install team began the steps needed to run this project through the South Jersey Gas Direct Install program, and was able to provide a solution that would not only deliver the right heating and cooling needs to make the space usable again, but also cover 80% of the total project cost leaving a minimum spend for the non-profit.

The Small Business Direct Install is a program managed through the utility companies and offers solutions and cash incentives to help businesses upgrade aging inefficient equipment, reduce energy usage, lower carbon emissions, and enhance comfort for staff and customers.

Using Ductless In A Home In Woodbine, NJ

Designing Environmentally and Cost-Effective Systems

After taking all the issues into consideration, we suggested that a ductless heat pump system should be the top consideration. Heat pumps are some of the most efficient heating and cooling systems on the market, delivering great performance while keeping energy bills low. Ductless systems would allow us to install separate zones of heating and cooling throughout the structure, without having to add ductwork and allow us to preserve the beauty of the buildings with minimum disruption to the historic structures.

Our team recommended that the Science Center consider Daikin ductless heat pump systems, also known as mini-splits, for the Sisters of Saint Joseph building renovations.

Why Daikin Mini-Split Heat Pumps?

Daikin mini split ductless heating and air conditioning systems consist of two main components- an outdoor condenser unit, connected to one or more indoor, wall-mounted cassettes or heads.

Heat Pumps Connect To Condensers Outside!

Each indoor head can be separately controlled, creating a separate zone of heating or cooling wherever they are located. The indoor heads are equipped with advanced sensors that can monitor the space for both temperature and humidity, and then distribute either heated or cool air evenly throughout the space, eliminating hot or cold spots you can get with other heating and cooling solutions.

Daikin mini-splits also use inverters. Inverter technology controls the motor speed in the outdoor condenser without having to turn it on and off- kind of like cruise control for heating and cooling systems. This results in the system using less power to maintain consistent comfort, and better energy savings in the process!

How a Heat Pump Works

Daikin heat pump systems are incredibly efficient and designed to use the heat in the surrounding air to transfer heat into or out of the building, as needed. In general, a heat pump transfers heat in the air with refrigerants to control indoor temperature. To deliver heat, the outdoor unit absorbs heat from outside air and transfers it to the indoor space. In cooling operation, the indoor unit absorbs heat from indoor air and ejects the heat outdoors.

Heat pumps eliminate the need to produce heat using oil or gas, reducing direct CO2 emissions. According to the US Department of Energy, heat pumps are up to 70% more efficient than traditional heating systems and 30% more efficient than conventional air conditioners. This means using less energy, and as the systems can act as both heaters and air conditioning from the same unit, you can get the comfort you need while spending less on your monthly energy bills.

Installation of the Systems

Each Ductless Mini Split Controls That Zone Independently!

Working with the Science Center, we helped to determine which portions of the building needed their own zone of heating and cooling. We designed the system so we could run the needed refrigerant lines under the building, allowing us to put units where needed, while avoiding lines showing up all over the outside of the buildings.  We could also camouflage the outdoor units behind lattice, preserving the coastal and historic look of the buildings while also providing some protection of the systems from the elements.

We also needed to replace two hot water boilers to provide hot water throughout the buildings.

We were also able to design a specialized retrofit cooling system to allow the historic ice boxes to be put back into use as refrigerators!  This opens up many possibilities for the Science Center, including allowing it to host events of all sizes throughout the year, and potentially create revenue streams as event space in the future.

High Efficiency Also Means Savings

As a non-profit, money is always a concern so going through the SBDI program was a life saver. The Cape May Point Science Center was able to benefit from the Direct Install program as it covered 80% of the cost of these energy-efficient upgrades.

Although the SBDI program is specific to small businesses and organizations, there are tax credits available under the Inflation Reduction Act that allow businesses and homeowners alike that make energy-efficient upgrades like these even more affordable!

Projects Big or Small- Call Broadley’s!

If you have a heating or cooling problem in your home or business, or have an area that’s simply too hot or too cold, give us a call here at Broadley”s. We have experienced technicians and engineers that can help design the perfect solution for your space – whether it’s as big as this Cape May Point property, or a single family home, or even just a garage – we can design a cost-effective solution to meet your needs.Give us a call and know we’ll care for your home as we care for our own homes!

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