Excellence in HVAC&R Research – AIRAH Awards 2022 finalists

Open to all individuals, companies, corporate bodies, institutions and government authorities, recognising work carried out during 2020/2021.

This award recognises outstanding achievements in research that have produced additional knowledge of HVAC&R systems with importance for future improvements in these technologies.

AIRAH Awards 2022 winner
Conserve It

Real-time model predictive control with digital twins and edge computing technologies 

This comprehensive initiative researched, developed and productised machine-learning-based model predictive control to minimise the energy usage of chilled water plants.

The solution was crafted to operate fully on the edge on low-cost embedded controls and, as such, extensive research was conducted to develop machine learning and mathematical optimisation frameworks that can resolve quickly with limited computing resources. This allows for the elimination of security and reliability concerns that often arise with offsite controls, as well as ongoing cloud subscription fees.

The solution was deployed at numerous sites and delivered demonstrable energy savings of up to 18 per cent.



Analysis of effectiveness of pandemic-mode HVAC strategies
Stantec has undertaken a collaborative research project with a number of institutions such as University of Queensland, Queensland University of Technology, and the Australasian Healthcare Infrastructure Advisory group to investigate the effectiveness of different ventilation system configurations in clearing aerosols from indoor spaces. 

A key part of Stantec’s contribution to the research is applying computational modelling methods to simulate typical HVAC system configurations in a number of “realistic” scenarios, testing the sensitivity to various parameters. 

One major finding for the HVAC industry is the concept that designers of ventilation systems should consider a shift from traditional ceiling-mounted return/exhaust grilles, to combined systems with local decentralised exhaust/filtration/sterilisation systems installed as close as possible to where respiratory activities are taking place, such as integration with furniture and/or other fixed building elements.