Project Profile - Garden Grove Elementary School

Garden Grove Elementary School

Garden Grove Elementary School in Winter Haven, Florida opened in 1975 and is now the primary school for about 740 students from Pre-Kindergarten through 5th grade. The school’s vision states: “Believing all children can learn, we work together in a safe, caring environment, guiding each individual toward lifelong learning and responsible, productive citizenship.”

Located on airy grounds in a suburban neighborhood in Polk County, about halfway between Tampa and Orlando, the school’s growing campus is surrounded by residential homes and tree-lined streets. The classrooms within the building are closed in with fixed windows, which makes the quality and temperature of the conditioned air even more critical




Because the entire school building was operated by a single, 60-ton chiller, any issues with the chiller or pump could create an interior comfort issue that would make the entire building unbearable for the students and staff in a very short time. 

The school required a dependable answer that would not only keep areas cool all year long but also offer much-needed redundancy during any downtime. And, like many schools around the country, keeping dayto-day operating costs, like energy usage, down is a major challenge, and effectively reducing those costs was a key consideration when selecting a new chiller. 

And because Garden Grove Elementary School is in a residential neighborhood, with houses on all sides, noise output was another concern.



The school had one 20-plus-year-old, 60-ton chiller that needed to be replaced due to age and general wear and tear. Polk County Schools’ HVAC Coordinator James Cobb began looking into alternative options that would keep the school cool, were energy-efficient and quiet, and had the necessary redundancy to ensure that students and staff would consistently remain comfortable. 

Cobb spoke with Slade Ross, Inc. in Tampa about possible replacements. Joe Cox, sales engineer at Slade Ross, recommended LG’s Inverter Scroll Heat Pump Chiller (ISHPC) as a comprehensive and reliable cooling solution. The project was installed by Central-Florida-based HDI Mechanical, Inc.



When Cobb and Cox discussed Garden Grove Elementary’s cooling needs, Cox noted LG’s proven performance and reliability with variable refrigerant flow applications, and he felt the LG Inverter Scroll Chillers (for cooling only), though fairly new to the market at the time, would be able to meet the school’s needs.

This chiller raises the standard in the air-cooled chiller equipment category, according to Cox. It is designed for cooling and/or heating in both comfort and process applications. The LG Inverter Scroll Heat Pump Chiller performs at 100 percent of its rated cooling capacity up to 110° Fahrenheit. Additionally, cooling performance data is available at operation of up to 125° Fahrenheit for 460V systems and 122° Fahrenheit for 208V-230V models. 

The 20-ton LG ISHPC has two refrigeration circuits, which are capable of independent operation to provide redundancy. The 20-ton unit also offers 50 percent of its rated capacity in the event of a compressor failure while the largest LG unit, a 60-ton chiller, offers 83 percent capacity with a single compressor failure. LG made a conscious decision to automatically include redundancy into the development of the Inverter Scroll Heat Pump Chiller. Therefore, if the compressor or another part of the refrigerant circuit fails, the effect on the overall capacity of the system is kept to a minimum, so a large portion of the load can still be met, which almost eliminates all downtime or the need to rent equipment. 

Cox added, “The ability to have multiple smaller chillers drastically helps with the overall reliability of the system because if you lose one of the modules, you still have a 60 percent capacity versus losing a single Chiller and being entirely out.” 

With the LG chiller’s impressive integrated part-load value of 19.46, engineers, owners, and contractors can apply the installation in many types of energy efficient applications and market sectors for both new and retrofit projects. What’s more, built-in compressor sound insulation enables industry-leading sound performance for LG heat pump systems.




The LG Inverter Scroll Heat Pump Chillers at Garden Grove Elementary School have made a big impact since they were installed. Not only are staff and students staying cool and comfortable, but the chillers also are easy to operate and maintain, are quiet, and have contributed to increasing energy efficiency for the school.

Mark Lester, Energy Manager for Polk County Schools, is tasked with saving money while keeping occupants comfortable in their environments. “It’s been a great opportunity to try something, and so far it’s worked out really well,” said Cobb. “I will definitely look into using the LG chillers again for future projects.”