Several recent installations of evaporative cooling in different facilities has seen inexpensive cooling provided along with fresh air resulting in another award for Seeley International.
Students at the University of Adelaide really are cool, thanks to a new air conditioning system at the $42 million innovative learning space on campus known as Hub Central.
A new approach to learning has been complemented by the creative approach of the Climate Wizard system from Seeley International. Chairman Frank Seeley says the company has custom-built a large volume module of the Climate Wizard high efficiency cooling technology and built it into the open space university campus facility.
“It’s been fantastic to see the project’s engineers and ours working together to come up with this truly inspirational and ground-breaking solution, which has slashed running costs so dramatically that a new benchmark has now been established,” Seeley says.
“Climate Wizard’s ability to deliver lots of fresh, super-cooled air, cost-effectively, was perfectly suited for the open space requirements of this project.”
Seeley says he is thrilled to see the visionary, innovative approach taken in the Hub Central project. “This kind of innovation is something that Seeley International has been championing for 40 years and we have been excited about the inclusion of our ground-breaking Climate Wizard technology in the Hub Central air conditioning system,” he says.
“We are altogether confident that the students using the centre will be delighted with the cool fresh comfort which Climate Wizard will deliver to the open space.”
The technology behind Climate Wizard has been developed in South Australia by Seeley International. It employs the principles of evaporative cooling, using the natural power of evaporation via an ultra-high-efficiency counterflow heat exchanger to super-cool the air, without adding any moisture to it. This means that Climate Wizard can deliver cool air that can often rival refrigerated systems, but at a fraction of the running costs. Seeley claims up to 80 per cent less.
A bonus of evaporative cooling is that it performs even better as temperatures soar, without drawing any more power as other forms of cooling do.
The custom-designed Climate Wizard technology has been integrated into the air conditioning system and provides all of the cool fresh air that the open area learning
Project engineers Kellogg Brown and Root (KBR) chose Climate Wizard because it met the environmental and comfort requirements of the project, with cost-effective installation and drastically reduced running costs.
Hub for cool learning
Seeley believes this installation is the largest single indirect evaporative project in the world today, with a design cooling capacity of 465kW, when the outside air temperature
One of Australia’s leading research intensive universities, the University of Adelaide embarked on a co-creative journey with its students beginning in 2009. The project included more than 10,000 individual student hours of consultation and more than 4000 hours of staff involvement and discussion.
Students expressed a desire for an immersive learning environment where they could study at their own pace, either in groups or individually, with access to the resources they required, when they required them. They wanted more choice regarding how and when they accessed services, as well as one place to go to receive advice and assistance.
Hub Central was officially opened on 14 October last year by the federal Minister for Tertiary Education, Senator Chris Evans, and within days was filled with students using the new facilities. Hub Central was built with the support of federal government funding totalling $17 million.
The key elements to the student experience within Hub Central have been identified as an informal open learning space to facilitate social learning; a library which is integrated in the learning process; services for students which are delivered face-to-face and online, and information technology facilities which encourage informal and flexible learning practices.
Cool and dry
Other Climate Wizard success stories include the Wilson transformers factory in Victoria, which was looking for an economical way to provide cooling comfort to its workforce while maintaining a positive pressure to keep airborne dust and contaminates at a minimum so as to not compromise quality. Wilson manufactures electrical transformers for the power distribution industry and ensuring the quality of manufacture is a critical part of its reputation.
Climate Wizard was chosen as it met the key requirements without adding additional moisture to the conditioned space. Twelve CW-H10 models were installed on the building and controlled through a building management system that monitors the key areas of production.
To meet the winter heating requirements, an in-line hot water heating coil was fitted in the supply duct. Climate Wizard’s supply fan coped with the additional duct loads without losing air supply volume, ensuring that the full design heating and cooling capacity is available at all times.
Another project is the McDonald’s restaurant at Blackwater, Queensland, which posed a particular challenge as the kitchen heat added to the high ambients from the northern sun, making conditions inside almost unbearable. The usual solution is to increase the size of the refrigerated air conditioners to compensate, but in this installation, Climate Wizard was installed to cool the fresh air extracted by the exhaust hoods. The result has been an immediate saving of more than 10 per cent in running costs and a very short payback on the new installation.
It also meant that, when it is time to replace the refrigerated system, a smaller refrigerated system can be installed alongside the Climate Wizard. The capital cost to do this is about the same as if one large refrigerated system was used.
Soft drink production line employees in Portugal, Italy and Romania and machine workers in Phoenix in the US also keep their cool under Seeley Climate Wizards.
Seeley picks up more gongs
Seeley is the largest air conditioner manufacturer in Australia and piled up the awards in 2011, its latest being the Business SA Export Award for 2011 in the large manufacturer category, the ninth award it had won for the year.
“We began exporting with a shipment to Iraq in 1980, 10 years before the Gulf War, with the first all-plastic portable evaporative air conditioners,” Frank Seeley says.
“We had a first-to-market advantage which enabled us to rapidly expand to the USA in 1985, followed by the opening of sales offices in Europe, including Spain, France and Italy.”
By the late 2000s, Seeley International had a significant number of international employees and a dedicated team of support personnel operating out of Adelaide, offering global marketing, sales and administration expertise.
Despite the global financial crisis, the company has maintained a strong international presence and, at the close of 2009/2010, had achieved record growth and sales in Australia as well as substantial recovery in export markets, leading to a 23.5 per cent increase in turnover.
“In 2010/2011 three dedicated export staff were employed in Adelaide to help grow export sales and that has paid off,” Seeley says.
“In the past year, we have installed multiple Breezair units for Levine Machine Development in Phoenix, USA and introduced our energy efficient units to Pepsico’s factories in Portugal, Italy and Romania and Sumol+Compal’s soft drink factory in Portugal.”
Climate Wizard has been installed at the Plastificio Fazion Pasta factory in Verona, Italy, to economically provide cool conditions at work stations. Prior to Climate Wizard’s installation, this facility was unbearably hot and humid due to the continuously operating pasta ovens.
Seeley International’s export activities have also contributed to employment growth in Australia. “Due to seasonal demand for air conditioning products, export sales assist in balancing demand during our winter period, when the factory would otherwise be closed or running with less staff,” Seeley says.
Seeley says he was particularly proud to receive the Business SA Export Award.
“Seeley International’s focus since inception has been on technical innovation and continuous development to achieve highly energy efficient products,” he says.
“Our point of difference is being a strong, Australian-owned family business which, for more than 35 years, has continued to develop ground-breaking technological innovations, many of which have become industry standards across the world.”
Climate Wizard in particular has won numerous international awards including the 2011 AIRAH Award for Excellence in Innovation, the Gold Medal at the 2010 Gaia Awards at the Big 5 International Building and Construction Show in Dubai, the HVAC Product Excellence Award at ARBS 2010 and a silver award at the US Dealer Design Awards in the HVAC Commercial Equipment Category, along with others.
Seeley International exports to well over 100 countries and has offices in the US, UK, France, Italy and Spain. The company designs and manufactures the majority of its components for its products within its own facilities at Lonsdale.
In Australia, Seeley is a market leader in eva-porative cooling and ducted gas heating market.