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Daikin Modular Central Plant (MCP) Solves Space, Cost, Safety, and Access Challenges for Architects & Engineers

November 17, 2021

"The Daikin MCP gives us another arrow in the quiver when faced with solving complex customer design challenges and tight schedules."

Michael Rach, Director of Sales & Engineering, Gray 

The Daikin Modular Central Plant (MCP), used for air conditioning and manufacturing processes, has been gaining traction in an industry moving toward Building Information Modeling (BIM). Prefabricated building products, components and sub-systems help architects and contractors meet aggressive building schedules, save space, reduce costs, and enhance onsite safety. Recently, Daikin Applied had the opportunity to get a deep dive with the team at Gray to see the benefits of our chiller plant from the customer perspective.

Founded in 1960, Gray is a family-owned, fully integrated, global service provider deeply rooted in engineering, design, construction, smart manufacturing, and equipment manufacturing services. Consistently recognized as a leader in the industry, it focuses on the following markets for domestic and international customers: Food and BeverageManufacturingAutomotiveDistributionMission Critical, and Commercial.

Read on to see the advantages of HVAC Chiller Plants through the lens of the architect, contractor and specifying engineer.

Ideal When Space is at a Premium
“As an architect, I’m all about space,” says Randall Vaughn, Vice President, A/E Professional Services at Gray. “Because space is money.”

At a tour of Daikin’s MCP plant, Vaughn was able to watch the MCP manufacturing process and inspect completed units. One advantage Vaughn noted: it’s a complete self-contained cooling solution that can be located on the roof of a building, or adjacent to it. Moreover, an integral cooling tower can be installed on the roof of the MCP, saving even more space. Such flexibility makes it ideal for modernizing or adding cooling capacity at an existing site.

Reduce Labor Cost and Improve Efficiency and Logistics
According to Michael Rach, Gray’s Director of Sales & Engineering, “Sequencing of construction is a puzzle. It never follows the path you set out.”

Rach referenced the inclement weather, material shortages, and labor shortages that often complicate the sheer logistics associated with receiving and storing the vast amount of stock, parts and assemblies required to build an HVAC chiller plant on site. The Daikin MCP is built and fully tested offsite, in controlled conditions, and to the exact specifications of the customer. It arrives at the site with little to no assembly required; all plumbing and electrical infrastructure can be assembled and installed ahead of time. The MCP is essentially a plug-and-play solution that can be installed over a weekend, instead of over weeks; and that saves labor and related costs. Contractors can focus their valuable time elsewhere and there’s no need to coordinate their labor. Consistent with the ongoing trend of BIM, Rach believes the use of prefabricated building components and “kits” will only grow.

Perfect for Industries with Continuous Operations
“Some continuous operations shut down for a week or more for maintenance and other needs — but not always,” explained Vaughn. “Typically, updating or replacing a cooling system in these types of operations is a long-term project. But the MCP accelerates the process.”

Daikin understands project schedule constraints and it matches the requirements of the building schedule. Its team of experts can provide a quality-engineered, fully tested MCP for a site while meeting even the most demanding project and commissioning schedule. The MCP is designed to exact customer specifications and will be operational when needed. It’s ideal for continuous operations and critical mission applications where downtime is difficult and expensive.

Enhanced Worker and Jobsite Safety
The Daikin MCP is built offsite and brought to the construction site according to the building schedule, helping ensure a safer installation environment for workers.

As Rach notes, “Moving the craft labor into the controlled environment of Daikin’s MCP factory helps enhance worker and job site safety by reducing the safety risks in the field. In addition, it improves efficiency by allowing the onsite team to focus on other strategic efforts to keep the schedule moving.”

Facilitated Access in a Covid Environment
Under the pandemic, many manufacturing sites remain closed to all except company employees. A Covid-19 outbreak could cause serious delivery delays and a financial burden for the contracting company — hence the caution. Because the Daikin MCP can be installed on the roof or adjacent to the main building, service technicians or operators do not have to enter the main facility to work with the MCP. And as a self-contained solution, it minimizes the number of people and contact with other site workers during installation.

A chiller (the primary component in an MCP) is one of the most complex pieces of machinery in the HVAC world and so it is typically monitored closely, either in person or remotely. Self-contained and equipped with optional heating, cooling, and lighting, the MCP chiller can also be accessed for service and diagnostics, anytime, without disturbing operations.

Scalability — Designed for the Future
“Nine times out of ten, we collaborate with companies looking at growth potential,” noted Vaughn. “We’ll start out with one footprint and map out the full buildout over, say, a ten-year period. We always think about this from a planning and design standpoint. The scalability of the MCP system works exceptionally well in these scenarios.”

The MCP is a scalable cooling solution, whether for air conditioning or specific industrial use. The Daikin team collaborates directly with the architect and/or engineer to build an MCP solution that is right for today, but that can accommodate expansion in the future. Everything is included in the package including the cooling tower, piping, wiring, controls, insulation, lighting, and valve tags. When it’s time to add capacity, the Daikin team will be ready with the specs of the current MCP and recommendations for additional infrastructure and MCPs to accommodate growth.

Daikin MCP — A Plug-and-Play Solution for the Times
With ever-growing pressure on reducing costs while meeting accelerated schedules, the Daikin MCP is a compelling solution. It helps speed up construction, reduces labor costs, accommodates spatial limitations, and enhances workplace safety. Further, it is a perfect solution for existing sites with continuous operations where millions of dollars are on the line.

For more information, contact your local Daikin representative or click here to find your nearest authorized Daikin resource.