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An emphatic counterpoint

One of the interesting discussions we had during The Climate Control Conference (C3) in October in Saudi Arabia, was about the challenges the Rashid Mall in Al Khobar is facing.

| | Nov 30, 2011 | 12:05 pm
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B Surendar

B Surendar

One of the interesting discussions we had during The Climate Control Conference (C3) in October in Saudi Arabia, was about the challenges the Rashid Mall in Al Khobar is facing.

The iconic mall originally had 3,000 TR of air-cooled chillers. Today, following an expansion, the Mall is all of 300,000 square metres. In addition to the existing 3,000 TR, it has 9,800 TR of district cooling (four water-cooled chillers, with 1,850 TR capacity each, plus thermal energy storage (2,400 TR). What makes the mall interesting, though, is its co-generation system.

Rashid Mall now reportedly wants to move back to the grid, though, for two reasons. The mall is currently incurring a cost of five halalas/kw hour. In addition, it is paying 20 halalas/kw hour for oil and diesel, plus spare parts and labour, which it reportedly finds unsustainable. The other reason is its increased power demand, especially in the summer months, which is forcing it to turn to the grid.

Rashid Mall presents a counterpoint to the discussions at C3, where participants in the roundtable sessions and delegates generally agreed that cogeneration, along with district cooling, could form a potent combination to reduce power consumption (see story). Apparently, there are questions that need to be answered, though, before giving a blanket nod to cogeneration, in particular. A key question, as discussed in the Rashid Mall context is the O&M cost; and out of that arises a possible need to structure a proper O&M agreement at the time of purchase from the supplier of engines.

A few days after the Conference, we learnt of the passing away of Lynn Bellenger, the Immediate Past President of ASHRAE. Bellenger served as the first woman president in the Society’s hallowed 116-year-old history. It was during her tenure that we marked the fifth anniversary of Climate Control Middle East magazine by bringing out a supplement, called EnVision. Bellenger kindly contributed to the supplement by writing the Foreword, in which she congratulated the magazine and also elaborated on her vision for the Society and for the HVACR industry, in general. We will remember her fondly and with gratitude.

See you at the inaugural Climate Control Awards. For those of you that can’t make it, the December issue will carry extensive coverage of what we expect will be a night to remember!

– B Surendar


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