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The Challenge

​When the Walker Corporation started planning the new Collins Square development they decided it should lead the way in best practice commercial building green design and efficiency.

The Optimal Group helped them achieve this, along with exceeding the 5 star NABERS rating. The cornerstone of this plan was a modern embedded trigeneration system where each of the 5 towers making up Collins Square could generate part of its own electrical demand using natural gas. The heat normally wasted in power generation is captured and used to heat and cool the building, significantly reducing the carbon footprint and energy costs for the building.

Many consultants can attest to the engineering and operational challenges of designing a trigeneration system for a building, as the actual electrical and thermal loads of a building can differ significantly from predicted models. If the generation system selected is not flexible and able to adapt to changing building demands, the financial and environmental benefits underpinning the decision for trigeneration will not be realised, or potentially the system may not operate.
The challenge was to build a flexible and efficient trigeneration system which would adapt to seasonal variations in the buildings energy profile, as well as allow the building owners to consider future energy saving initiatives, such as integrating solar.

Capstone Microturbine Technology

At each building a C600 (600 kW) Capstone turbine provides the clean energy generation, and unlike traditional generation systems, the highly flexible Microturbine is a digital inverter-based power generator, the same technology as solar PV and battery energy storage systems. This allows the turbine to operate without restriction during low electrical demand, as the C600 is a modular system comprising three 200 kW turbine units, provides significant redundancy to ensure the site can meet its NABERS targets.
Capstone Microturbines were selected for their low noise, no vibration, and their ability to meet the customer's sustainability and NOx emission targets. Preference was also given to the Microturbines in order to keep the power plant and infrastructure consistent across the precinct.
"Capstone's Microturbines have proven to be very reliable on site and are having a big impact on the site's energy performance," said Chris White, Operations Manager at Walkers Corporation. "All of our Microturbines consistently run across the precinct," added White.
With each tower meeting or exceeding a 5 star NABERS efficiency rating, the Collins Square project serves as a model establishment and landmark for Melbourne CBD sustainability.

Get in touch with Optimal Group to dicuss trigeneration for your next project.



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