Using industry-trusted equipment in a new way for a revolutionary approach
When New Zealand’s Dunedin International Airport decided to upgrade and extend its terminal facilities, our team was commissioned to deliver designs for the mechanical and HVAC services. Highly-variable weather conditions and fluid occupancy levels at Dunedin posed interesting challenges to our efforts towards sustainability, as the outdoor temperatures vary from -9°C to 35°C and airport traffic is constantly changing.
Dunedin had ambitious energy-efficiency goals for the 10,000-square-meter terminal. For us, this meant finding an innovative solution to our client’s problem. The result? We decided to use an open-loop, groundwater heat pump system that utilizes bore water as the heat source in winter and the heat sink in summer.
In this design, the pumps move heat from the chilled water system to the heating water system, while the bore water removes any imbalance through heat exchangers. That way, all heating and cooling within different parts of the building is recovered. In addition, the ground floor areas incorporate displacement ventilation systems. By introducing the air at low level, the supply air can be warmer. That means the summer cooling load is directly taken by the bore water system—without the need for the heat pump.
Opened in 2005, the system was supposed to save 50% in energy. But since then, Dunedin has witnessed 19% more savings than expected. The Dunedin International Airport has won the commercial category in the 2007 EECA EnergyWise Awards, a 2008 ACENZ Gold Award of Excellence, and a 2008 NZ Engineering Excellence Award.
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