MEP Engineering Award of Excellence: Victoria Dockside, Hong Kong

Kenneth Li
Director
WSP, Hong Kong

Efficient Cooling with Seawater

Victoria Dockside is a mixed-use development that takes advantage of its direct proximity to Victoria Harbour for an efficient method of cooling. Seawater is taken into a pumping station through two 800-millimeter suction pipes with inlets located below sea level. It is then pumped into a chiller plant and passes through condenser tubes made of titanium to resist the corrosion, before exiting the building and going back into the sea.

This is one of the most efficient and low-resource means of heat rejection for chiller plants, as the harbor provides an abundant heat sink. Since the harbor can also be a good cold sink, heat pumps are equipped to circulate hot seawater for space heating and pre-heating of the domestic water supply. The program employs two chiller plants to provide backup and system resilience.

Seawater cooling is 60 percent more efficient than air-cooled systems, with less noise impact on its surrounding environment. Additionally, it eliminates the need to run cooling tower fans, which eliminates hot air disturbance to the surroundings. As the plants are in the basement, with no need for outdoor space, the system frees up usable space and helps preserve the limited fresh water supply.

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