UQ's AEB building
UQ's AEB building

The UQ Energy team has a chilled new project on the go for the Advanced Engineering Building (AEB) and Hawken. Their plan to connect the AEB and Hawken chilled water systems will improve overall efficiency, reduce energy consumption and maintenance costs and retire assets that have reached their use-by dates.

At the moment, the four Hawken chillers are some of the oldest and most inefficient at UQ—three of them have reached the end of their lives and use refrigerant R22, which is no longer readily available as it's being phased out.

However, as a relatively new construction, AEB features modern and efficient water chillers with spare capacity that's about to be put to smart and sustainable use. In fact, says Senior Building Systems Engineer Neil Brown, 'if more load could be made available, then the AEB chillers would actually run more efficiently', leading to 'potential energy gains for AEB as well Hawken'.

Rather than replacing the Hawken's old chillers with new ones—the 'business as usual' approach—the Energy team is opting to connect them to the AEB chillers and feed chilled water from AEB to Hawken, a process that will help the AEB chillers run more smoothly. 

Although the cost of replacing the chillers is equivalent to the cost of running pipework between the two systems to connect them, this latter move will yield much greater long-term financial benefits: it'll achieve an overall energy reduction of $100,000 per annum. That's a cool saving!

 

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