Tabreed, Masdar research energy-efficient cooling

Organisations combine on project to reduce power use at cooling plants

NEWS, SUSTAINABILITY, Maintain, MEP, Sustainability News, District cooling, Masdar, R&D, Research, Tabreed

Abu Dhabi's National Cooling company, Tabreed, has announced that it has signed a partnership deal with the Masdar Institute of Science & Technology to carry out research into reducing the amount of energy consumed within district cooling plants.

The company said that it is already currently working on one research project that aims to create a smart control system capable of independently managing cooling plants to improve operational performance and reduce energy consumption with minimal interferenace from operatives.

The two organisations are also developing a software module that can be integrated with cooling plant control systems to measure all of the external variables that can affect a plant's performance, such as the outside temperature and humidity levels, chilled water supply levels and the return flow to decide at what capacity major equipment like chillers, water pumps and cooling towers need to run.

Tabreed's CEO Jasim Thabet said: “We are delighted to be partnering with the Masdar Institute in this important area and hope to utilize this project to gain some critical insights.

"Although we are in the data gathering stage at this point, this system offers interesting possibilities for the future as it can potentially lead to significant energy reductions.”

Masdar Institute president Dr Fred Moavenzadeh said: “Our research initiatives aim to bring operational benefits to organizations while contributing to mitigating carbon emissions.

Dr. Peter Armstrong amd Dr. Afshin Afshari will be the principle Masdar researchers on the project. Dr Armstrong said: “For the Tabreed project we will model and monitor a typical chiller plant in order to find cost-effective ways to reduce peak-demand, energy and carbon impacts.

Actions may include variable-speed drives and multi-stage compressors as well as optimal control to coordinate operation of compressors, pumps and cooling towers. Phase 2 will consider cool storage and advanced controls to shift chiller load (and thus also electric utility load) to morning hours when cooler temperatures result in more efficient operation.”

Air conditioning accounts for 40-50% of Abu Dhabi's total energy consumption - rising to around 70% on its hittest days.

Thabet added: “It is great to see two of Abu Dhabi’s leading institutions working together to create innovative solutions to one of the region’s biggest challenges.”

The pilot project will be carried out at a Tabreed plant in Mohammed bin Zayed city and is expected to complete within a year.


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