Innovation

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iCool Prototype Package Unit For Draglines

Intro :
The iCool unit was developed by Airconstruct HVAC under an Ausindustry Research and Development Program in 2009.

Concept:
Would it be possible to produce a unit with better durability for heavy machinery in severe environments other than units of standard manufacture such as APAC  ($15,000) but be more cost effective than the market leaders package units ($50,000)? We thought so and  went about building a mid-priced (circa 25K) air conditioning unit for a Bowen Basin dragline.

Design:
We needed to have enough cooling capacity to maintain temperature in the power control room at 21 degrees C in 40 degrees C ambient conditions, while having the durability to withstand the vibration and wide condensor fin spacings to suit the dust generated in mining conditions. It can also be adapted to the Operators Cabin. It was designed with rigidity in mind and this prototype unit was produced in 3.00mm stainless steel and fitted vibration eliminators to all pipework sections.

Result:
The project gained some wider attention and positive reviews which also generated some leads and due to the pricing it seemed to find a niche as the G.F.C. took hold and cost cutting was in the spotlight, then the G.F.C. went as quickly as it came and we lost our momentum as our normal contracting obligations filled our order book. Would love to revisit this one day.

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Natural Hydrocarbon Refrigerants Case Study

Airconstruct have recently acquired an Actron 16 kilowatt ESP vertical Packaged unit to enter into a hydrocarbon case study of our own. We will be using our climacheck system to verify the compressor efficiency and publishing the results.

This case study involves the complete installation of this unit and controls as a secondary system to our company headquarters. This project will run for 12 months in various stages and the results will be published on our website and LinkedIn page.

While the capital outlay at first glance may not appear to be accountant friendly there are some long term advantages of converting to a hydrocarbon based system that can be best described as follows.

  • The available data indicates we can reduce the running cost of your equipment by somewhere between 10-30% due to the reduced workload on the compressors and the system only containing roughly one third of the charge required of conventional refrigerants.
  • Any ongoing replacement costs of refrigerant are substantially reduced from the current $250.00 per kilo and rising, to under $100.00 per kilo capped. The labour component of on-site works is reduced when opening systems up for repairs as hydrocarbons can be vented to atmosphere without compromising the environment.
  • Hydrocarbon refrigerants have zero ozone depleting potential, as do most modern refrigerants, but with a significantly low global warming potential of 3, when compared to the global warming potential of 407C at 1370 GWP and with an atmospheric lifetime of under one year compared to 407C at 16 years
  • Hydrocarbon refrigerants are almost in an azeotropic state allowing for systems to be topped without having to pump-down and install fresh weighed critical charges.
  • We are industry leaders in our approach and we have the data acquisition equipment coupled with the specialist training to validate the results of any retrofit project undertaken.

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