Johnson Controls has completed an 18-month retrofit project at the Arts Centre in Melbourne reducing energy use by 27 per cent.

The project included the decommissioning all end of life equipment, installing a new chiller plant, refurbishing the heating hot boilers and modernising the heating hot water distribution system

Additionally, the large mechanical plant inside the basement plant room was demolished and a new direct digital control (DDC) plant manager system integrated with an existing Honeywell building automation system.

It was also imperative that the system remained operational throughout the project. To achieve this, Johnson Controls decommissioned the chillers in stages.

Also to allow the Arts Centre to continue supplying water to the National Gallery of Victoria, the preparation work and boiler refurbishment began during the warmer months.

As the weather cooled, the six chillers were decommissioned two at a time along with associated pumps and pipework.

The two new chillers and equipment were installed and fully operational before the next two chillers were withdrawn from service. This process helped control site conditions and minimise disruptions.

It was a challenging project which required a high level of engineering expertise. There were up to 20 sub-contractor companies working simultaneously on site, which the Johnson Controls team had to work around, according to the buildings engineer at the centre, Jim Grayson.

“This was a major project for us and we’ve been suitably impressed with Johnson Controls,” he said.

“They remained flexible, solutions focused and cooperative – nothing was too hard.

“While the assets had reached the end of life phase, we took the opportunity to push for energy savings and given the size of the plant and equipment, we’ve achieved a very positive outcome.”

The YORK chillers alone are saving the venue approximately 1,029,234 kWhrs (November 2016 to June 2017) which is a 27 per cent reduction.

This project was the 100thYORK YMC2 chiller installed in Australia.

Replacing the chiller plant

This project included six new 1800 kW York YMC2 variable speed centrifugal water-cooled chillers with a total plant capacity of 10,800kw as well as:

12 x new primary chilled water pumps with two new condenser water pumps
9 x new secondary chilled water pumps
Primary control system integration
Chemical treatment system
Refurbishment of six cooling towers located in the forecourt of the gallery
Side stream filtration system and condenser water treatment upgrade
Chilled water pipe work replacement from primary header isolation point to chillers only

Hot water loop details

A new high-performance,energy-efficient heating hot water loop was also installed, consisting of:
2 x new natural gas fired variable speed enterprise burners (boiler 3 being a dual fuel
diesel) with a total plant capacity of 7,200kw
3 x new primary heating hot water pumps
Refurbishment of boilers 1 and 3 including new stay and flu tubes
Air dirt separator
Pipe work alteration to create a primary and secondary system





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