Darren Wong was born in Honolulu, raised in Hong Kong, then moved back to Hawai‘i at the age of seven. He graduated from President William McKinley High School in 2013 and is now attending the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa. He is pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering. His career goal is to create or innovate something that will impact the world. 

Home Island: O‘ahu
High School: McKinley High School
Institute when accepted: University of Hawai‘i at Manoa

Optimizing the Glycol Pumping System at the Gemini North Observatory

Project Site: Gemini North Observatory
Mentor: Chas Cavedoni

Project Abstract

Gemini Observatory consists of twin 8.1-meter telescopes, providing its international partners with full coverage of both the northern and southern skies. In 2012, the United Kingdom withdrew from the partnership with Gemini resulting in a 25% reduction in funding. To cope with the loss of funds while still maintaining peak observatory performance, Gemini seeks to renovate and upgrade the existing glycol cooling systems with a goal of reducing energy use by 25%. The proposed upgrade to the glycol cooling systems requires significant revisions to the existing plumbing arrangement and system pumps. To optimize the plumbing and pumping arrangement, the hydraulic performance of the existing glycol cooling system was modeled using the application software PIPE-FLO Professional. PIPE- FLO Professional modeled and simulated incompressible fluid flow throughout the system with additional functions to calculate and optimize pump brake horsepower along with all the other hydraulic engineering parameters. The existing glycol cooling system simulation model was then validated with on-site measurements to understand and refine its accuracy. The new glycol cooling system was simulated allowing the proposed plumbing and pumping arrangement to be optimized with confidence. Results of the optimization and final recommendations will be presented.