Air conditioning is a significant contributor to peak electricity demand. It's increasing use is placing a strain on power systems resulting in the need for investment in system upgrades.
Barossa Warehousing, based in South Australia, operates a group of identical warehouses for the storage of bottled wine. When storing wine, it is essential that the warehouses maintain a consistent and regular temperature, particularly as the summer temperatures in the Barossa Valley can regularly reach over 40 degrees Celsius. After installing air conditioning using electric chillers in two identical 2,000 square metre warehouses, the company was faced with an additional upfront cost of $70,000 to run an upgraded power line to enable them to cool a third identical warehouse with another electric chiller.
The application of Gas Powered Air Conditioning (GPAC) at Barossa Warehousing solved the challenging issue of power constraints at the site. To remove the need to pay $70,000 to run an upgraded power line to the third warehouse, Barossa Warehousing installed three 84kW Yanmar Gas Powered Air Conditioners, using Variable Refrigerant Flow condenser technology, which became operational in January 2008.
This resulted in a saving to Barossa Warehousing as the cost of the GPAC systems was less than the combined cost of the power upgrade and additional electric chiller.
Gas Powered Air Conditioning Performance
A data logging exercise was undertaken at Barossa Warehousing over the full 08/09 summer period to compare the performance of the Yanmar GPAC condensers to the electric chillers. This exercise demonstrated that when all three warehouses were kept at the same temperature, the Yanmar GPAC condensers demonstrated an energy cost saving of approximately 32% versus the average energy cost per electric chiller.
The GPAC condensers also emitted slightly less CO2 emissions than the electric chillers and an observation was made that the Yanmar systems were considerably quieter than the electric chillers.
Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Equipment Manufacturers Association of Australia, ‘Air-conditioners and Electricity Demand Management’, http://www.arema.com.au/demand_man_ctee.htm.
Report produced by consulting engineers System Solutions Engineering Pty Ltd. Their calculations of savings made were based on copies of the actual electricity and gas accounts provided by the end user, Barossa Warehousing.