TOAC installs water cooled HVAC system for results beyond energy savings

Established air conditioning contractors Two Oceans Air Conditioning (TOAC) has installed a HVAC solution in the Western Cape that delivers much reduced environmental impact on two fronts – saving water and reducing energy costs.

Thanks to the unique location of a large building complex, the TOAC team can use water from an abandoned quarry – and not fresh water – for its installation; delivering environmental efficiency beyond what a water-cooling system on its own can achieve.

The project for the University of Stellenbosch Business School, located in Belville, Western Cape, offered this exceptional opportunity thanks to its proximity to an abandoned quarry. Water is pumped form a depth of 30 meters and pumped into the pump room with submersible pumps put through filters and a titanium plate heat exchanger. Pre-cooling water (closed system) will be pumped between the pump room, buildings and chilled water plantroom. In summer, pre-cooling water will cool the building, then be used as condenser water (heat rejection from chiller). Chilled water will be used to do the remainder of the cooling. reported that a study conducted by San Francisco-based Pacific Gas & Electric Co. (PG&E) showed that, in a typical 100 000-square-foot building in California, an air-cooled condenser system would use 440 000 kilowatt-hours (kwh) per year compared to 190 000 kwh per year for a water-cooled system. “In other words, an air-cooled system requires 250 000 kwh more per year than a water-cooled system to perform the same cooling,” according to the report.


The project at US Business School is particularly rewarding considering the water situation in the province created by years of drought. Looking at ‘greener’, more environmentally sensitive construction components for commercial buildings is a global trend.


This unique project shows that South Africa is not falling behind in the green revolution and seek and use opportunities to deliver beyond savings on energy costs.

The installation was done as part of a renovation project at the Business School campus. A new plant room was built with equipment being upgraded in the existing building.