Hospital uses largest solar-assisted cooling system in Australia

The project cuts energy use by 382MWh and operating costs by €40,900 annually
Echuca Regional Hospital in Victoria, Australia is host to the largest solar cooling plant in Australia and one of the largest in the world.

The project, developed by WSP Lincolne Scott cuts energy use by 382MWh, operating costs by AUD 60,000 (€40,900) and carbon emissions by 1400 tonnes CO2eq annually, thanks to a 500kW gas-powered absorption chiller. It also reduced peak electrical demand at the site by 13%.

Thanks to a 300m² solar field, the system generates hot water which is in turn sent to an absorption chiller, supplying cheap and sustainable cooling to three hospital buildings, including operating theatres and wards. The system also features a Broad 500kW absorption chiller mainly powered by a steam-plate heat exchanger as well as over 102 evacuated-tube solar collectors to heat the water (95°C) for the absorption chiller, producing cold water (6°C) used as a secondary coolant for air conditioning.

The Echuca Regional Health Solar Chiller was nominated for an EcoGen 2011 Clean Energy Industry Award.