The Bend

UniSA and Glaciem claim engineering award

The University of South Australia and Glaciem Cooling Technologies have been announced as South Australia’s Engineering Excellence Award winner and the Sir William Hudson Award finalist for their work on The Bend Motorsport Park.

The Bend Motorsport Park has now won several awards, including the 2018 AIRAH Award for Excellence in Refrigeration.

The Bend was developed and primarily funded by the Peregrine Corporation, South Australia’s largest privately-owned company. Peregrine is probably best known for its extensive network of On The Run (OTR) convenience stores. ​

In 2016, Glaciem Cooling Technologies – a senior industry partner of the University of South Australia (UniSA) – approached Peregrine to explore an alternative refrigeration platform for the OTR sites. During these discussions, Peregrine identified The Bend as an ideal candidate for a commercial trial of Glaciem’s new refrigeration platform, Dew Point Carbon Dioxide-only (DP-CO2) refrigeration.

The system installed at The Bend demonstrates a significant advance in refrigeration technology, incorporating thermal energy storage with a newly developed phase change material, as well as unique CO2 systems.

This allows energy to be stored cheaply during times when there is excess renewable power generation or low-cost electricity. During extreme hot conditions, the refrigeration system is around 65 per cent more efficient than conventional refrigeration systems.

Glaciem’s Managing Director, Julian Hudson, M.AIRAH, says the technology has been developed since 2008.

He says the analysis of monitoring data conducted by UniSA has concluded that at ambient conditions of 45°C, the energy efficiency is improved by 140 per cent compared to conventional CO2 refrigeration systems.

“Furthermore, at the maximum ambient temperature recorded being 47.5°C, the refrigeration system was calculated to be around 65 per cent more efficient than conventional HFC refrigeration systems used today.”

Following a rigorous judging process by an independent panel of experts, projects from Engineers Australia’s nine divisions are selected to win an AEEA. One winner from each division is also selected as a finalist for the Sir William Hudson Award – the highest honour for a project awarded by Engineers Australia. 

Engineers Australia South Australia Division Manager, Lauran Huefner, says the winners showcase the outstanding achievement in engineering and the invaluable contribution engineering makes to the economy, community and the environment.

He believes The Bend could make a significant contribution to adapting and mitigating the effects of climate change, making it a worthy nominee for the national award.

Hudson says the HVAC&R sector is a significant contributor of CO2 emissions. In order to reduce the direct and indirect contributions of the HVAC&R sector, a new and more sustainable approach is required.

“In essence that was what this project was fundamentally about, the ability to demonstrate that renewable energy can be integrated seamlessly into HVAC&R systems using natural refrigerants,” he says.

“Not only has this project demonstrated this, but also that there are significant financial benefits for business that adopt this approach.”

More information and a full list of the winners is available here.

Feature image courtesy of Ecolibrium.

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