Fullerton, CA

California State University Fullerton Trigeneration Plant

Our industrial automation solution helps a university trigeneration plant recover nearly 75 percent of waste heat to increase energy efficiency.

Interior view of the California State University Fullerton trigeneration plant project

Value Delivered

For the California State University, Fullerton (CSUF) trigeneration plant, KDC Systems helped interface an innovative turbine system to plant controls.

The overall trigeneration plant project to provide heating, hot water, and chilled water included cutting-edge technology that pumps water through and around absorbers to create electricity, and heat and cool water efficiently. It allows nearly 75 percent of waste heat from the burning gas turbine to be recovered for other uses.

Client Objectives

 CSUF needed industrial automation solutions for their new trigeneration plant.


KDC Systems installed integration solutions for CSUF’s new trigeneration plant that uses waste heat for boilers and chillers. Our controls work included:

  • ControlNet communication interface and interlocks for plant control of a 4.4-megawatt turbine generator, lube oil heat exchanger, and accessories
  • Modbus communication interface to programmable logic controllers (PLC) for plant control of two 1,300-ton direct-fired absorption chillers
  • PLC for control of two exhaust gas diverters with shared control and monitoring
  • 12-kilovolt generator switchgear breaker control and monitoring
  • Multiple heating and cooling water pumps and drives
  • High and low pressure natural gas controls and monitoring with added seismic controls including overrides
  • Two cooling towers with fan, pump, and valve controls
  • Interface via server to the existing campus control system
  • View graphics and web application packages

We also provided:

  • Panel fabrication
  • Installation of instrumentation and control valves for the balance of the plant
  • Calibration and commissioning support

Client Background

California State University, Fullerton (CSUF or Cal State Fullerton) is a public university with more than 41,000  students—the largest within the California State University 23-acre-campus.