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Cool Reporting

15 July 2008

Next month’s Olympic Games in Beijing will dominate the airwaves. Keeping the press and technical teams cool is a large rental air conditioning contract at the IBC, providing a solution that meets the current and legacy needs of Olympic facilities

A temporary chiller from Carrier Rental  Systems being craned into position

CONVENTIONAL BUILDING SERVICES SOLUTIONS are always challenged by large complex projects. Breakthroughs and steps forward result from the pressures that are brought by fresh thinking on ground-breaking ventures. The sheer scale of the next Olympic Games in China means that the demand for everything is bigger than ever and this also applies to air conditioning. There will be more media than ever before covering the games. There will also be more computing power required, and come London 2012, the demands will be even bigger. Time to think outside the box.

Carrier, the world’s largest provider of heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration, won the contract to provide the air conditioning to the Beijing International Broadcasting Centre supporting the Games. Carrier has huge experience of supplying different Olympic Games over the last 25 years and meeting an enormous number of different types of requirement.

At these Beijing Games, Carrier Building Services and Systems (BSS) China has obtained nearly 70 per cent share of the total HVAC contracts for Olympic venues and related facilities. These include some of the most important buildings such as the ‘Bird’s Nest’ National Stadium, the ‘Water Cube’ National Swimming Centre, the Wu Ke Song Basketball Hall and the Beijing Olympic Village.

What is particularly remarkable about the Beijing International Broadcasting Centre project is that it is a very large project that has decided to take the plunge and use rented equipment. This could be a significant pointer towards future procurement options for the Olympic Games.

Carrier Rental Systems International is renting 22 chillers to this Beijing project. It has run a global equipment rental business for over ten years, originally focused on North America. Now the capability is much broader.

In the UK, recent growth for the company has come from the acquisition of the international hire business of the Longville Group. With substantial investment, and the expertise of Carrier as a global HVAC innovator, Carrier Rental Systems can expect to advise on and supply equipment to even more major sports and leisure events in the UK, than it has in the past. The O2 already uses Carrier Rental Systems equipment, and The Farnborough Air Show, an event that the company has regularly served, is, for example, the largest temporary air conditioning project in Europe – measured in kilowatts. In anticipation of growing demand in the UK, the company has just announced major increased investment in stock, in support people and in new premises.

The Beijing International Broadcasting Centre (IBC) is located in Beijing Olympic Park. It is considered to be one of the most important Olympic related facilities and will act as the hub of broadcasting at the Beijing Olympic Games to at least four billion people all over the world. During the Games, the IBC wioperate 24-hours a day to provide convenient and comprehensive coverage for about 16,000 journalists and TV staff members for their programming, catering, transportation and communications.

This enormous facility requires a large quantity of temporary cooling, not just for comfort cooling but as a result of the large quantities of broadcast equipment and the computer power required to support this. Rental of the air conditioning equipment is an ideal solution as the building’s use is expected to change after the Games and the cooling requirement is sure to be different. The same will surely apply in the case of the same facilities at London 2012.

Carrier recommended air-cooled chillers, the 22 specified includes 8 Aquasnap Puron 30RB air-cooled high efficient scroll chillers and 14 Aquaforce 30XA air-cooled high efficiency screw chillers, which all use environmentally sound and non-ozone-depleting refrigerants R410A and R134a embodying the theme of a ‘Green Olympic Games. R410A is a high efficiency refrigerant and using it in a temporary installation reduces energy usage still further.

The high efficiency, low noise and proven reliability of these chillers has brought Carrier environmental awards in recent years. Additionally, 8 x 39CBF AHUs have also been provided to IBC as part of the HVAC package.

The IBC will host the largest number of world media, surpassing that at the Sydney and Athens Olympic Games. More than 10,000 media have been authorised to re-broadcast the Beijing Olympic Games.


The operation of these air conditioning systems will be closely monitored by the Carrier Beijing Olympic Monitoring Centre which has been established to ensure an appropriately comfortable indoor environment for broadcasters.

Carrier Rental Systems is used to providing a higher than usual level of support to its chiller installations as they are often required for critical applications. All equipment hired from Carrier Rental Systems in the UK already comes with a 24 hour technical support service included in the hire price, which is just one of the features that make it an attractive and flexible option for any temporary cooling, heating or air conditioning requirement. The equipment can still be the largest, most reliable, high quality Carrier chillers but there is, of course, no capital outlay needed for the equipment – cutting overall budgets considerably.

A likely attraction, where multiple stadia are in use or multi-sited events are taking place at different times, is the opportunity that rented chillers and air handling units provide to move equipment around from event to event – reducing financial outlay still further. Carrier Rental Systems’ equipment comes with quickconnect couplings. Expert teams of experienced technicians can move and fit the kit very easily – one less headache for main contractors.

Not every sporting event or stadium will need a complete chiller installation, with air handling units, and managed power supplied. In some cases, air handling units alone can perform a role in ventilating the space. They can provide for high air change rates where specified. With the use of indirect oil fired heaters or the attachment of a separate boiler they could also be used to bring a vast sports hall up to temperature quickly early in the morning.

When attached to a fluid or heat pump chiller air handling units can provide space heating or cooling via flexible ductwork for only as long as the area is in use, without the need to use power unnecessarily. Carrier Rental Systems’ indoor air handling units start at 15 kW capacity, although smaller portable units are also available for small office spaces, starters’ huts, etc, from sister company Carrier RentalXpress. Externally sited 450 kW air handling units can provide 60,000 cubic metres per hour of conditioned air.

Ever conscious of energy considerations, unlike other units in the marketplace, Carrier Rental Systems’ air handling units can even use re-circulated air to pull temperatures down and cut power requirements by 50 per cent. Perhaps this will be a clinching feature at UK based sporting events?


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