UNI of NSW – Chiller Replacement Project

Uni NSW Newton BuildingRyan Wilks recently completed a chiller replacement project with the installation of two Hitachi chillers on the roof of the Newton Building at the UNSW Kensington Campus.

The works involved the replacement of 2 old chillers with new Hitachi chillers, modifications to the existing pipework system and the installation of new chiller electrical sub mains. The new chiller sub main runs were 100 m long and were run up the outside of the building to the roof.

As with many University type projects nothing is ever simple and this building was no different.  In addition to the loss of cooling with the chillers being off line the works also required the isolation of the main mechanical services switchboard to enable the new chiller submains to be connected. The isolation of this switchboard meant the loss of not only the chillers and pumps but all ventilation systems,  fume cupboards and associated ancillary plant that in a science building are critical to  24/7 research and experiments. As such the actual shutdown window was planned and locked in  months in advance to enable these critical experiments and research to be completed, or new works to be held over until after the replacement works were completed. There was months of planning but only one week end to complete the works.

Come the shutdown weekend all preparation works had been completed in readiness, this included the installation of new sub mains  and pre-fabrication of new header pipes, all designed to minimise the actual site change over works time.

As planned the  mechanical switchboard was isolated at lunchtime on Friday and the existing chillers disconnected. On Saturday morning the old chillers were craned out and new chillers positioned with the pipework re-connected that afternoon and system re-filled. The new chiller sub-mains were terminated in the switchboard on Saturday and the chillers terminated on the Sunday.  On Monday morning power was restored and the chillers were commissioned  by Hitachi and the system back on line.

The project was a credit to all involved and show cased the importance of planning and preparation works, but more importantly the importance of, and our ability to communicate and work directly with our clients and their stakeholders to work together to ensure a successful outcome for all involved.

Value $ 180k

New ChillersChiller pipework lagged Chiller pipework pre lagging New Chillers on roof