Excellence in Innovation – AIRAH Awards 2021 finalists

Sponsored by Mitsubishi Electric

Open to all individuals, companies, corporate bodies, institutions and government authorities, recognising work carried out during 2019/2020.

This award recognises significant Australian improvements in the areas of HVAC&R achieved through innovation, including new or significantly improved systems or plant and equipment or processes. Products are not eligible in this category.

The project must have been commissioned in the past two years.

A.G. Coombs and Aurecon

25 King Street

Australia’s tallest engineered timber office building, 25 King has pushed boundaries in design, construction, indoor environment quality and sustainability. 

The project achieved WELL core and shell certification at platinum level, Green Star 6 star Design and As Built v1.1 rating, NABERS 6 star base building energy, 4.5 star water ratings, 3.0 star NABERS waste rating, and Climate Active carbon-neutral certification.

The challenges presented by this large-scale prefabricated engineered timber construction were addressed through the close collaboration and innovation of Aurecon and A.G. Coombs, delivering a model for future HVAC design and installation in this sustainable form of construction.

Glaciem Cooling Technologies

Advancing Renewable Energy with Thermal Energy Storage

This innovative project aims to demonstrate the technical and economic value of thermal energy storage using phase change material (PCM) and renewable energy optimisation in the commercial and industrial HVAC&R sector. 

Conducted across three sites – in Queensland, South Australia and Victoria – the project received $1.96M of funding from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) to integrate more than 1.1MW of solar PV with 7.91MW/h of PCM thermal energy storage (equivalent to about 2.86MWh of electric battery storage), controlled with a cloud-based control algorithm across three of the largest HVAC&R sectors: process heating/cooling, commercial building HVAC, and cold storage.


Queensland Children's Hospital – exOptima Digital Twin

Exergenics modelled a digital twin of the 18MW capacity chilled-water plant at Queensland Children’s Hospital using historical BMS data. This MATLAB­based tool was able to accurately simulate the fluid flows, temperatures and energy transfers through the chillers, pumps and cooling towers.

An optimisation loop was deployed on the simulation, seeding the model with thousands of combinations of ambient weather conditions and internal cooling loads. The result was an optimised control strategy, including chiller staging, chiller load balancing and condenser water temperature algorithm. The energy-saving simulation showed a 7 per cent energy reduction through the updated control logic.