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Sydney CBD, 1st March 2015, major project undertaken by Innovative Air Solutions

Innovative technology shuts down Bridge Street

In the early hours of 1st March, 2015, Innovative Air Solutions and Gillespie Cranes will roll a crane with a 350 tonne rating into Bridge Street to begin a 15 hour operation to lift and remove two outdated air conditioning units that use phased out refrigerant R22, on the building housing iPrimus Telecom. They will be replaced by one super-efficient Australian-designed magnetic bearing chiller using the ozone-friendly refrigerant R134a.

The air conditioning units are used to cool the server room of iPrimus.

“We’ve maintained the air-conditioning for iPrimus for five years. The existing units use old reciprocating technology, are very noisy and use a considerable amount of power,” says Scott Dredge, Business Development Officer, Innovative Air Solutions.

From next year, almost all imports of R22 will cease in Australia in an effort to minimise the impact on the Ozone layer, in alignment with the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer. This means that, although existing units that use R22 as the coolant, can be serviced and maintained, the industry is actively looking to alternative solutions.

“We are replacing the old units with an air conditioning unit supplied by a Melbourne-based company, Powerpax, which uses an Australian-designed magnetic bearing chiller from Turbocor,” says Scott. “The magnetic bearing mechanism means that the unit is super-efficient, almost silent, doesn’t require oil for lubrication and reduces the drain on the Power Grid by almost 50%.”

Installing air conditioning units that utilise the magnetic bearing mechanism also means that any future refrigerant replacement that may be necessary can easily be carried out. Refrigerant replacement in the current technology is a very involved operation that can result in gas leakages and lower efficiency.

“Our operations are completely dependent on the air conditioning equipment meeting required capacity,” says Con Giannopoulos from iPrimus. “We made the decision to upgrade to new technology now due to the high maintenance and high energy use of the old equipment.”

iPrimus will enjoy lower running costs, which in turn will lower operating costs and improve profitability with the extra reliability of the operations.

Innovative Air Solutions will recycle all of the redundant equipment, including the refrigerant, in accordance with authority requirements.

“Most commercial buildings in Australia could only operate for an hour or two at most without air conditioning,” says Scott. “It’s our job to find the most efficient and responsible solution to that problem.”