New air conditioning equipment uses less energy and water
Since November 2017, the Department of Transport and Public Works (DTPW) has been engaged in a R16-million project to replace key air conditioning system components in Western Cape Government (WCG)-owned buildings in Cape Town. The new systems are more energy-efficient and use less water than the old ones. New dry coolers and chillers were installed at 9 Dorp Street in November, at 27 Wale Street in December, at 72 Roeland Street in February, and at 4 Dorp Street in March. An installation at Artscape is expected to be completed in April 2018. The entire project is expected to be up and running by May 2018, if everything goes according to plan.
There are clear long-term benefits for the provincial government. According to DTPW project leader Peter Barnes, these modern systems provide efficiency and environmental impact advantages over older systems. “In light of the ongoing drought facing the province, we are pleased that the newly installed systems waste no water. Water remains in circulation via circulating pumps in a closed piped system. Other benefits include greater energy efficiency, better controllability, and longer life. Excluding the Artscape installation currently in progress, this new equipment is realising a combined average water savings of 30 000 litres per day. There will also be a huge saving on heating costs during the colder months. At 4 Dorp Street, for example, the old inefficient diesel boiler has now been replaced with energy efficient heat pumps” he said.
Installing these massive systems required a lot of planning and collaboration. “We had to make prior arrangements in respect of traffic control, abnormal vehicle licences, and informing the public about road closures. We had to use a crane at 4 Dorp Street that could lift up to 6 tons to a height of about 141 metres. This required closing a number of streets to traffic with the necessary permissions. This has been an exciting project for the team and we expect that our clients will reap the benefits of the new systems soon,” he added