Echuca Regional Health for Echuca Hospital

Customer Segment


Project Snapshot

Project Description

The new cooling system includes a Broad 500kW cool absorption chiller that is supplied with hot water (95°C) to produce chilled water at 6°C. An absorption chiller uses an evaporation cycle to cool water that is then circulated though an air conditioning system to cool the ducted air supply. The heat used to drive the evaporation process comes from the water heated by solar collector tubes and natural gas. There is a large array of over 1600 evacuated tubes mounted on the roof of the hospital’s engineering and maintenance building.

The installation includes extensive monitoring and control technology to optimise the use of solar energy and maximize cost savings.


Echuca is situated on the Murray River in northern Victoria – an excellent location to capture solar radiation. Echuca Regional Health manages the Echuca Hospital and in 2010 decided to look at a range of options to replace existing electric air conditioning chillers that had reached the end of their useful service life.

The hospital looked at technologies that would both reduce energy costs and save greenhouse gas emissions and chose a heat driven absorption chiller utilising hot water heated by natural gas and solar energy.

Project Development

The feasibility stage was carried out in several main steps:\r\n


    • Thermal load profiles of buildings were logged and analysed.


    • Load profiles were compared to the heat output of different solar collector models including at flat plate and evacuated tube collectors of different brands.


    • Heat table energy outputs were used to predict the energy delivery of the range of solar collector models.


    • Transient Energy System Simulation (TRNSYS) software was used to simulate the solar collector field performance.


The feasibility study showed that evacuated tube collectors were most appropriate for this project.

Detailed design was conducted by engineering company WSP Lincolne Scott. The design was based on a closed loop system that uses a variable speed drive pump control to maintain the 95°C hot water temperature required by the chiller. The design enables hot water to be used for domestic hot water/space heating or stored in two 5,000 litre tanks when demand for hospital cooling is low.

Greenland Systems was awarded the contract to supply the solar collector tubes and the installation was completed by Echuca Hospital’s engineering team. The project was commissioned into service in March 2011.

Project Outcomes

After the first 3 months of operation, the net annual savings are estimated to be $60,000 allowing for reduced electricity costs, and increased gas consumption. The total greenhouse gas savings approximate 1,400 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (tCO2-e) per year. This installation has also reduced electricity demand by about 14 per cent and has allowed Echuca Hospital to avoid costly upgrades to its electricity supply.

_edit_last 1
_edit_lock 1490752565:1
_thumbnail_id 170
_yoast_wpseo_primary_case_studies_category 4
_yoast_wpseo_content_score 30
clients Echuca Regional Health for Echuca Hospital
_clients field_581aebedca0a6
_yoast_wpseo_primary_case_studies_industry 8
case_study_gallery a:6:{i:0;s:3:"181";i:1;s:3:"180";i:2;s:3:"178";i:3;s:3:"175";i:4;s:3:"173";i:5;s:3:"174";}
_case_study_gallery field_581b22ba2497b
_wp_old_slug case-study-title-copy-copy-copy-2-copy
project_snapshot_image 227
_project_snapshot_image field_5848e581565c8
project_snapshot_details_0_snap_title Project developer
_project_snapshot_details_0_snap_title field_5848e71cd49de
project_snapshot_details_0_snap_details Echuca Regional Health
_project_snapshot_details_0_snap_details field_5848e740d49df
project_snapshot_details_1_snap_title Solar field engineering and design
_project_snapshot_details_1_snap_title field_5848e71cd49de
project_snapshot_details_1_snap_details WSP Lincolne Scott
_project_snapshot_details_1_snap_details field_5848e740d49df
project_snapshot_details_2_snap_title Renewable energy technology type
_project_snapshot_details_2_snap_title field_5848e71cd49de
project_snapshot_details_2_snap_details Solar thermal
_project_snapshot_details_2_snap_details field_5848e740d49df
project_snapshot_details_3_snap_title Objective
_project_snapshot_details_3_snap_title field_5848e71cd49de
project_snapshot_details_3_snap_details Provide heat supply to drive the cooling process in an absorption chiller achieving cost savings and reduced emissions.
_project_snapshot_details_3_snap_details field_5848e740d49df
project_snapshot_details_4_snap_title Plant type
_project_snapshot_details_4_snap_title field_5848e71cd49de
project_snapshot_details_4_snap_details Evacuated tube collector field, single-stage\r\nabsorption chiller.
_project_snapshot_details_4_snap_details field_5848e740d49df
project_snapshot_details_5_snap_title Project commissioning date
_project_snapshot_details_5_snap_title field_5848e71cd49de
project_snapshot_details_5_snap_details March 2011
_project_snapshot_details_5_snap_details field_5848e740d49df
project_snapshot_details_6_snap_title Energy cost saving
_project_snapshot_details_6_snap_title field_5848e71cd49de
project_snapshot_details_6_snap_details $60,000 per year
_project_snapshot_details_6_snap_details field_5848e740d49df
project_snapshot_details_7_snap_title Electricity savings
_project_snapshot_details_7_snap_title field_5848e71cd49de
project_snapshot_details_7_snap_details 1,373 MWh per year
_project_snapshot_details_7_snap_details field_5848e740d49df
project_snapshot_details_8_snap_title Peak demand savings
_project_snapshot_details_8_snap_title field_5848e71cd49de
project_snapshot_details_8_snap_details 14%
_project_snapshot_details_8_snap_details field_5848e740d49df
project_snapshot_details 11
_project_snapshot_details field_5848e5de565c9
_project_snapshot_additional_details field_5848f5198623e
project_snapshot_details_9_snap_title GHG pollution offset
_project_snapshot_details_9_snap_title field_5848e71cd49de
project_snapshot_details_9_snap_details 1,400 tCO2-e per year
_project_snapshot_details_9_snap_details field_5848e740d49df
project_snapshot_details_10_snap_title Upgrade savings
_project_snapshot_details_10_snap_title field_5848e71cd49de
project_snapshot_details_10_snap_details Existing electricity grid connection used.
_project_snapshot_details_10_snap_details field_5848e740d49df