Taikoo Place is the commercial hub of east Hong Kong Island. Set on an area of four million square feet, Taikoo Place is comprised of nine office buildings. Each of these buildings is serviced by water cooled air conditioning systems. These air conditioning systems use sea water cooling towers (chillers).
The performance and energy efficiency of the chillers depends upon the operating condition of their condenser units. Like most other condenser units, the condensers within Taikoo Place’s air conditioning systems suffer from fouling. Fouling greatly reduces the heat transfer efficiency resulting in increased power consumption. At the same time, fouling generates the additional cost of maintenance and the cost of lost opportunity during maintenance downtime.
To overcome this problem, Automatic Tube Cleaning Systems (ATCS) were installed in several sea water cooled chillers at Taikoo Place from 2002 to 2003. The ATCS is an environmentally sound online condenser cleaning technology which has been patented by CQM Systems.
The performance of the chiller units was monitored for six months, before and after installation, by recording their performance parameters.
The topic of fouling in heat exchangers has been of increasing interest in recent years since it is so closely linked to the cost of building and running a facility. It has been reported that fouling costs are about 0.25% of the gross national product (GNP) of highly industrialized countries, which, based on estimates of GNP of U.S. of $15 trillion, makes the staggering cost of fouling $37 billion a year.
To understand the high cost of fouling one must understand the effects of fouling, particularly with reference to the chiller units at Taikoo Place, Hong Kong.