Here is more information about the situation:
CONDITIONS: Warm and very humid overnight conditions resulted in very large loads being pulled through the campus cooling system. The resulting reduction in our chilled water supply, combined with high forecast temperatures and humidity that will further tax the system today, led to the multi-stage curtailment that is now in effect. High humidity is a challenging part of this week’s conditions, as opposed to the high temperatures alone that were present last week.
ACTIONS YOU CAN TAKE: We are asking everyone on the main campus to help reduce the loads on the system. Turning off lights, closing blinds or covering windows exposed to direct sunlight, and turning off unnecessary equipment all help. See the curtailment guide for details, up to and including Stage 4 curtailment: https://lbre.stanford.edu/sites/lbre-production/files/stanford_chilled_water_curtailment_guide_07-19-public_1.pdf
DURATION: The chilled water system is being continuously monitored, and updates are being provided to building managers every two hours. We do not have an expected duration for the curtailment. Forecasts for the next several days indicate an easing of overnight temperatures and humidity, but higher afternoon temperatures.
TEMPORARY TOWERS: After the cooling curtailment that occurred in June, new temporary cooling towers were ordered to increase the capacity of the chilled water system. These temporary towers have been scheduled to be in place by the end of August, but efforts are under way to accelerate their installation. In addition, longer-term plans are under way for increased chilled water capacity that will mitigate the need to curtail during extreme heat.
LAB SAFETY: Researchers should coordinate with building managers where needed regarding specific, localized mitigations to address impacts to research and equipment. As you do so, Environmental Health & Safety has the following reminders for those working in laboratories:
- Wear proper PPE (personal protective equipment) and street clothes.
- Avoid the use of fans in laboratories, as they may adversely affect exhaust ventilation.
- PIs and supervisors must assess the conditions in their facilities to ensure safe and healthy working conditions. Check in with employees on their welfare and provide alternate work if conditions do not allow for safe lab work.
MANAGERS AND EMPLOYEES: During the cooling curtailment, managers should encourage precautionary measures and have discussions with employees about alternate work arrangements if needed due to the temperature in their location. If your manager is not available, please contact Human Resources for assistance.
Continued updates will be available through the AlertSU system and on emergency.stanford.edu.