JCU Cairns Campus District Cooling System
James Cook University, Cairns Campus
A new Campus District Cooling system including a Central Energy Plant to house high efficiency chillers and cooling towers, and an adjacent Thermal Energy Storage System tank
Control systems have been fine-tuned to achieve the lowest running cost on the new Ergon energy tariffs
- Location: Smithfield, Cairns, QLD, Australia
- Year Completed: 2012
- Total gross floor area: Currently (2010) ≈ 25,000m2, Future ≈ 54,000m2
In 2009, the Cairns campus of James Cook University (JCU) represented a typical small to medium sized campus, comprising nine academic and service buildings with a total air conditioned floor area of approximately 25,000m2. The Campus is situated in the coastal tropics and peak summer air conditioning loads are high with a year round requirement for cooling. Annual energy usage of air conditioning systems is therefore high and represents a significant part of the University’s operating costs.
From 2010 JCU planned to embark on a major expansion program for Cairns which would result in the construction of 10 new buildings over the next several years and effectively double the air conditioned floor area.
The aged chiller plant in the existing plantroom could not be upgraded without substantial capital cost as the plantroom and services were not capable of handling the larger chillers along with the higher power requirements and increased water flow. As it was not feasible to upgrade the chiller plantroom it was decided to future proof the campus by constructing a new Campus District Cooling system including a Central Energy Plant to house high efficiency chillers and cooling towers and an adjacent Thermal Energy Storage System tank.