A revolutionary low-lift chiller keeps UWCSEA cool
Bharath Seshadri, ETH Zurich
How does Singapore’s most energy efficient office become even more efficient? UWCSEA and ETH Zurich, Europe’s premier scientific institution, found themselves asking this very question after the successful launch of their 3for2 Office Project in 2015.
The 3for2 Office, located at the Dover Campus Administration and High School block has garnered the attention of the building and construction community for its unique design and energy efficiency. Earlier in 2017, UWCSEA upped its energy-game by installing the region’s first ultra-efficient cooling machine to keep the occupants of the 3for2 office cool and comfortable…just in time for the summer!
Technically referred to as a ‘low-lift chiller’, the machine consumes 25% less energy than UWCSEA’s central chiller, and can cool the entire 3for2 office while being only as big as your household refrigerator. So how does it do it? Simple. While most air-conditioning systems require very cold 7 degree Celsius water, the 3for2 office requires only 17 degree Celsius water to keep its occupants cool. The low-lift chiller designed specifically for these higher temperatures, does not need a lot of mechanical effort or space compared to conventional ‘high-lift’ chillers.
Interested in more ‘cool’ facts about the low-lift chiller?
The machine is only the second one ever produced, and the first to be installed in Singapore!
The engineers who built it meant to use it as a heating system for a residential building in Switzerland. They did not really imagine it would end up 10,000 km away to cool a 500sqm office in Singapore!
Bharath Seshadri, Dr Adam Rysanek and Professor Arno Schlueter, from the Institute of Technology in Architecture at ETH Zurich, together with UWCSEA’s Facility Director, Simon Thomas, commenced work on the low-lift chiller project in March 2017.