YORK CEO discusses cooling challenges in Saudi university

Al Salem Johnson Controls has applied Thermal Energy Storage technology to several universities.

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Mohanad Al Shaikh, CEO of Al Salem Johnson Controls (YORK).
Saudi Gazette
Mohanad Al Shaikh, CEO of Al Salem Johnson Controls (YORK).

The CEO of Al Salem Johnson Controls (YORK) Mohanad Al Shaikh said that the firm stives “to offer sustainable and efficient solutions to Saudi universities, which have significantly reduced energy and water consumption, especially during peak time” as the consumption of energy is projected to increase three-times in the coming decade.

Owing to the scarcity of water, water cooled systems were ruled out for cooling Princess Nourah bint Abdulrahman University since the quantity of water needed for these systems is not viable in a place like Riyadh, according to Saudi Gazette. Instead, it was narrowed down to air-cooled solution. Air cooled systems are used in both commercial and industrial facilities to cool refrigerants and to remove moisture from the air. Air-cooled systems are easy to install and work efficiently, making them a perfect choice for the temporary or emergency application.

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This solution helped saving 2.8 million liters of treated water per day. By saving 2 liters every day, sufficient drinking water can be provided for 1,400,000 people annually. Furthermore, this solution limits the harmful emissions and is environmentally friendly.

The cooling system of Princess Nourah bint Abdulrahman University is cooled by 26 CYK YORK Chillers, with a total cooling capacity of 58,000 TR (Equivalent to cooling 5800 medium sized apartments).

Moreover, Al Salem Johnson Controls (YORK) provides a campus-wide integrated Building Management System (BMS) via its METASYS system, which supports the University’s energy control and building management, with more than 320,000 data points in addition to mobile connectivity. The BMS includes the integration of fire alarm, lighting controls, SCADA, and Power Monitoring Systems.

The total load was calculated by consultants at 56,000 Tons of Refrigeration, and the target was to ensure efficient cooling of college buildings, hospital and support facilities, with minimum power and water consumption for King Abdulaziz University, Central Utilities Plant 2.

The range of ambient dry Bulb Temperature Fluctuation between day and night in a Middle Eastern coastal city, such as Jeddah, could be as high as 18 to 20 Degrees Fahrenheit. This was the first step towards reducing the external component of Peak Load and shifting to Thermal Storage Technology. Thereby reducing the connected equipment electrical load matching with the available power.

The project team – including consultant contractor and Al Salem Johnson Controls (YORK) - determined that 6 huge Ice Storage Tanks, each with a capacity of 21,150 TON/HR, would be sufficient to reduce power requirement and meet the power availability criteria for Chillers, making it the biggest Ice Storage Application in the world.

The cooling capacity for the university’s cooling plant has peaked at 29,520 TR, delivered through a variety of chillers.

Al Salem Johnson Controls has applied Thermal Energy Storage technology to several universities including the University of Imam Muhammad bin Saud. The objective was to enhance the efficiency of its cooling plants, especially during peak time, by applying thermal energy storage technology (TES), so that the stored energy could be used later for heating, cooling, or power generation.

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