Al Shallal Theme Park in Jeddah ... new technologies have helped cut energy consumption.

Al Shallal Theme Park in Jeddah ... new technologies have helped cut energy consumption.

Cool operator

September 2018

Al Salem Johnson Controls (York), a leading provider of integrated heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) solutions and equipment, has been playing a key role in ensuring efficient cooling as well as energy savings at some of the key projects in Saudi Arabia.

Among such projects are the Grand Mosque and key pilgrimage areas in Makkah, a number of hotels in the holy city as well as the King Abdulaziz International Airport and Al Shallal Theme Park in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

The company says to ensure optimum cooling efficiency, it increases the number of its technicians working at the cooling stations at the Grand Mosque by 25 per cent during Ramadan, Umrah and Hajj seasons. The technicians undertake preventive maintenance and handle emergencies to ensure the safe and efficient operation of the chillers and air handling units.

The York chillers located in the two cooling stations are designed and customised to meet the cooling requirements of the Grand Mosque, especially during peak seasons, it adds.

Al Salem Johnson Controls (York) ensures that pilgrims are kept cool on their Hajj journey, starting with their arrival at the Hajj Terminal at King Abdulaziz International Airport – which is also cooled by York chillers and York Saudi-made air-handling units – to the Grand Mosque.

It also plays an active role in cooling other locations visited by the pilgrims during their journey in Makkah and the holy sites; for example, the clock tower, the Hilton Hotel and Dar AlTawheed Intercontinental Hotel in front of Grand Mosque, a number of hotels in Mina, and police stations and restrooms in the holy sites of Mina, Arafat and Muzdalifah, as well as the Jamarat area and the Saudi Arabia Project for Utilisation of Hajj Meat.

The Grand Mosque is cooled by two cooling stations, with a total capacity of 159,000 tonnes (equivalent to the cooling of 15,000 medium-sized apartments). While the two stations are separate facilities in terms of location, their chiller technologies are integrated as one, to ensure the operation and cooling efficiency and sustainability all year through.

The first cooling station, located 900 m from the mosque in Al Shamiya District, began its initial operation three years ago while the second station, located 500 m from mosque in Ajyad District, has been operational since the last five years, explains Dr Mohanad Al Shaikh, CEO of Al Salem Johnson Controls (York).

The Al Shamiya station is considered to be the second largest cooling plant in the world, with a total cooling capacity of 120,000 tonnes (equivalent to the cooling of 12,000 medium-sized apartments). It boasts 24 York centrifugal chillers, the largest chillers in the world, and cooling towers, according to the company.

The chillers cool water up to 4-5 deg C and pump it through pipes inside the tunnels from the two stations to the York air-handling units located in the basement of the mosque.

The air handling units and their cooling capacity are designed and engineered to meet the requirements of the Grand Mosque, and were locally manufactured at the York factory in Jeddah.

The company has assigned 85 engineers and technicians in Makkah, available 24/7 for service maintenance of the cooling stations and air-handling units inside the mosque, he adds.

Meanwhile, Al Salem Johnson Controls (York) has succeeded in devising new technologies that have contributed to cutting energy consumption at Al Shallal Theme Park in Jeddah.

These technologies have enabled the theme park to achieve an annual power saving of up to SR1.5 million ($399,960), by using ‘water steam’ instead of the traditional production of electricity to operate its cooling system, says the company.

Dr Al Shaikh says that Al Salem Johnson Controls (York) has the solutions engineered for the theme park are characterised by energy and operation efficiency to ensure that the park – which comprises both open and covered areas – is cooled in all climatic conditions and has great operational performance during the holiday seasons when it witnesses huge numbers of visitors.

With innovation in mind, Al Salem Johnson Controls’ team took advantage of the strategic location of the theme park, using saltwater instead of fresh water, thus saving 50,000 gallons per day (190,000 litres/day) of fresh water.

The cooling plant comprises three York absorption chillers, each with a cooling capacity of 750 tonnes, along with condensers, pumps and fire-fighting systems.

In the same building, diesel boilers use seawater to produce steam, as the chillers are operated by steam instead of electricity, which contributes to saving the energy consumption of the Al Shallal Park.

Meanwhile, for the Fakieh Aquarium project, which is part of Fakieh Hospitality and Leisure Group – Tarfeeh Fakieh, Al Salem Johnson Controls (York) supplied three chillers (each with a cooling capacity of 250 tonnes) and eight air handling units, and succeeded in cooling and controlling the temperature of the fish tanks and the dolphin lake, to suit the marine life.  

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