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Solar Cooling in Australia: The Future of Air Conditioning?

Dr P. Kohlenbach, M.AIRAH, Solem Consulting and Dr M. Dennis, M.AIRAH, Centre for Sustainable Energy Systems, Australian National University.

This paper gives an outlook on the current and future situation of solar cooling in Australia. It discusses the current potential of energy and greenhouse gas savings by using alternative solar air-conditioning technologies. Economics are discussed using a comparison of photovoltaic vapour-compression cooling against solar thermal cooling with an absorption chiller and a grid-connected reference chiller. It was found that at current economical conditions and under the given nancial and technical assumptions, a solar thermal cooling system has a lower lifetime cost than a PV-based system. However, both systems have higher lifetime costs than a grid-connected conventional system. A sensitivity analysis on electricity price showed that solar thermal cooling is more economic than PV-based cooling until the electricity price exceeds $0.5/kWhel. A PV-based system becomes the most economic cooling alternative if the electricity price exceeds $0.55/ kWhel. Greenhouse gas emissions were found to be lowest for the PV-based system due to the excess power being generated over the lifetime. The solar thermal system saves approximately 75 per cent of the emissions of the conventional system.

Solar cooling replaces electricity with heat from the sun as the source of energy to drive a cooling or refrigeration process. Solar cooling technology largely comprises off-the-shelf heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) components, which are generally mature technology. Combining these technologies into integrated systems has been proven feasible worldwide (mainly Europe) but the industry is still in its infancy in Australia, despite Australia being uniquely suited to the technology, with great solar resources and large air conditioning (AC) demand throughout the country. The east coast of Australia receives between six to nine hours of sunshine a day, and an annual solar exposure between 1200-2400 kWh/m2/a. This is more than sufcient for solar applications. The residential air conditioning market in Australia is around 800,000 units per year, and has increased signicantly over recent years. In 2000, 35 per cent of all Australian households had air conditioning; in 2006 this number had doubled to around 70 per cent. The majority of these units are reversible wall-mounted split units. Commercial air conditioning and refrigeration using chillers is a market of around 1,000 units per year, 80 per cent of which are dry-cooled. Together, residential and commercial refrigeration and air conditioning consumes approximately 20 per cent of the total electricity generated and contributes approximately 7 per cent to the countrys GHG emissions [2-4]. The increasing popularity of domestic vapour compression air conditioning in Australia has resulted in peak electricity demand growing much faster than baseload demand, as noted by NEMMCO [5]. Transmission and distribution assets must be sized on the peak current transmission, and that capacity is used for a small proportion of the time. Thus there
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is a poor return on this investment, and so little incentive to upgrade the network in this way. This is leading to supply security issues also noted by NEMMCO. Solar cooling is a distributed form of peak electricity reduction and has the unique ability to offset loads at source, thus reducing transmission requirements, and in particular, peak transmission requirements. The large demand for AC in Australia, combined with the economic problem of infrastructure support, provides a basis for consideration of alternative technologies.

The combination of good solar resource and a large air conditioning market seems like a perfect match for solar cooling and refrigeration applications in Australia. However, there are only few solar thermal cooling systems installed in Australia. At the time of writing there are three solar cooling systems in operation and three systems under tender or construction, as shown in Table 1. The discrepancy between the great potential and the small number of installations is easily explained when economics are taken into account. Residential solar cooling systems (5-15 kWr) are exclusively imported from overseas and attract a considerably high price tag in Australia. With specic cost of approximately $6,000-9,000/kWr they are an order of magnitude more expensive than conventional split systems, which are available at about $600-$800/ kWr (both costs for installed system, excluding GST) [6]. The situation is different for larger commercial or industrial applications (50-500 kWr). Economies of scale make larger units more economical, and the hours of operation are usually much greater in an industrial application compared to residential. However, other market barriers are also restraining the market in this segment.


Location Ipswich, Qld Logan City Council, Qld Alice Springs, NT Sydney, NSW Wyong, NSW Newcastle, NSW

Cooling capacity 250 kWr tbd 230 kWr 175 kWr 7 kWr 230 kWr

Solar eld size 570 m2 tbd 630 m2 165 m2 20 m2 350 m2

Collector type Parabolic Trough tbd Parabolic Trough Parabolic Trough Evacuated tube Parabolic Trough

In operation since 2009 Under tender Scheduled for late 2010 2007 2009 Scheduled for mid 2010

Application Hospital Ofce building Art gallery Factory Caf Shopping mall

Table 1. Overview on existing solar thermal cooling systems in Australia

1.1Market barriers
The main market barriers for solar cooling in Australia have been identied as: [7, 8] Low electricity prices Low-cost conventional air conditioning Cross-subsidy of conventional air conditioning system by all electricity customers who have to pay for network and generation infrastructure Most components manufactured overseas and imported Low number of installed systems System complexity Professionals involved lack training and experience with solar cooling Australias large climatic variety makes it difcult for a standardised solar cooling system to be implemented. There are no major unsolvable technical issues for the implementation of solar cooling. The main barrier for implementation is economic, not technical. There are sufcient installations in Europe where the technology has been proven feasible but the low electricity cost and cheap conventional AC units in Australia make competition difcult. Nevertheless, economics for solar cooling can become much more favourable for a range of building applications and locations with higher electricity cost, such as islands, remote locations and off-grid applications. To help overcome the market barriers described above and support the introduction and market development of solar cooling in Australia, the Australian Solar Cooling Interest Group (ausSCIG) was founded in 2008 [21]. ausSCIG, an AIRAH special technical group, is an industry group made up of individuals who are interested in developing the solar cooling industry in Australia, with the aim of combating climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) from the residential and commercial building sectors [7].

1.2Market opportunities
Recently the situation for solar cooling has improved. Government measures towards intelligent use of energy, peak reduction and building upgrades have been implemented, as well as various funding programs for renewable energies. These include: Implementation of time of use (ToU) metering for end users (ordinary residences, not just high-consumption users), thus encouraging peak power savings. Building owners recognition for energy efcient systems (Green Star and NABERS programs). Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) for solar thermal hot water systems Possible implementation of tradable certicates for energy saving activities (Energy Savings Certicates, ESCs, NSW only). A solar cooling system will most likely generate hot water during operation and therefore becomes eligible for RECs. Users can trade the RECs for electricity saved by a solar hot water and cooling system at a rate of approximately $35/kWhel before tax. These measures do not signicantly inuence the economics of a residential solar cooling system but they make an impact on larger scale systems.

A competitive technology to solar thermal cooling is photovoltaic-based cooling using photovoltaic (PV) panels to generate electricity connected to a conventional air conditioner,. So far, this technology has been far too expensive due to the high cost for PV panels. Recent price drops of PV panels however have changed this and lead to the investigation presented in Figure 1.
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8,000 6,000 4,000 2,000

MW Production

Cost per Watt

$30 $25

C. Reference case: Grid-connected scroll type vapour-compression chiller Grid

Solar PV Pricing PV Production

$20 $15 $10 $5

Scroll chiller

80 86 96 97 98 99 00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08


Figure 1. Global PV production and PV panel price from 1980 2008 [20].

The price per Watt peak of photovoltaic panels was approx. $300/Wp in 1956. In 1980 the price had dropped to approx. $27/Wp and current panel prices are around $2/Wp (~$4/Wp including installation). Three scenarios have been compared to each other: A. Solar thermal parabolic trough collectors and a double-effect absorption chiller
Concentrator Receiver

Grid-connected scroll chiller (REF) Figure 2. Scenarios for comparison of solar cooling technologies [913].

Absorption Cooler

The comparison in this paper is made for a commercial system of 230kWr cooling capacity, this being a medium-sized industrial application for ofce buildings, shopping malls, art galleries, hotels and the like. The following general assumptions have been made: All three scenarios have been investigated for two different climate zones: Zone 3 (eg Sydney/NSW) and zone 2 (eg Brisbane/Qld) in Australia. Cooling is needed for eight hours/day over ve months/year (in total 1200 hours/yr or 276 MWhth/yr). This has been assumed conservatively for zone 3, most likely the air conditioning demand will be greater in zone 2.

Solar Connections Hot Water

Heating/hot water is provided whenever cooling is not needed. No subsidies have been assumed for solar thermal cooling (no RECs, no ESCs, no carbon tax and the like.)

Solar thermal collectors and absorption chiller (STAC)

Financial assumptions
Lifetime of scroll chiller Lifetime of absorption chiller, collectors & PV modules

All Scenarios
12 yrs 20 yrs 2.5 % 8% 0.17 $/kWhel 2% $6/GJ

B. Photovoltaic panels and a scroll type vapour-compression chiller PV panels

Scroll chiller

CPI (ination rate) Discount rate Electricity cost1

Hot Water Inverter

Annual escalation rate electricity cost Natural gas cost

Annual escalation rate natural gas cost


Photovoltaic panels & scroll chiller (PVS)

Table 2. Financial assumptions for NPV calculations


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No feed-in tariff has been assumed for photovoltaic power generation. All three systems have been designed to provide 100% of the annual cooling load. The comparison was made by calculating investment and O&M cost and calculate the net present value (NPV) for a lifetime of 20 years. Table 2 shows the nancial assumptions for NPV calculations. The system specications are given in Table 3 and the costing in Table 4. Figure 2 shows the breakdown of system costs.
System assumptions Total cooling power (kWr) Average annual COP chiller () Heat required for cooling (kWth) Electrical power required for cooling (kWel) Solar thermal collector/PV area (m2) Backup system for heating/hot water STAC 230 1.1 209 15 508 none PVS 230 4.0 58 391 gas boiler2 REF
Figure 3. Breakdown of system equipment and installation costs.

230 4.0 58 gas boiler

It can be seen in Table 4 and Figure 3 that the solar thermal cooling system (STAC) has the highest upfront investment cost of all systems; however, the PV-based system (PVS) is only about $20k cheaper. The reference system (REF) is approximately 65% cheaper than both the STAC and PVS systems. The solar thermal system (STAC) uses parabolic trough collectors with an annual average efciency of 55%. A hot water storage tank of 5,000 litres is used as a buffer tank. The absorption chiller is an air-cooled double-effect chiller with an annual average COP of 1.1. The solar thermal system yield has been calculated using Meteonorm data for the two climate zones [15] in a TRNSYS simulation. The PV modules in the PVS system have been assumed with an annual average efciency of 14%. A degradation of the module efciency of 15% over the 20-year lifetime has been assumed. The PVS system yield has been calculated using a zone-based yield factor of 1.382 MWh/kWp/a for Sydney and of 1.536 MWh/ kWp/a for Brisbane, including a 15% loss due to annual selfshading of the panels [16]. Excessive power generated by the PVS system is accounted for as net export to the grid. The scroll chiller is air-cooled and has an annual average COP of 4.0. For the reference (REF) system the same chiller as for the PVS system is assumed. No electrical storage has been assumed.

Table 3. System specifications for NPV calculations

Cost assumptions Solar collectors/ PV panel cost3 230 kWr Chiller and air cooler cost Balance of plant cost Total equipment cost Total engineering and installation cost4 Total system cost Specic system cost Annual average O&M cost

STAC $330,200 $154,000 $69,200 $553,400 $86,658 $640,058 $/kWr 2,783 $6,893

PVS $301,440 $119,600 $137,650 $558,690 $60,882 $619,572 $/kWr 2,694 $3,981

REF $119,600 $65,650 $185,250 $28,412 $213,662 $/kWr 929 $17,163


The lifetime cost calculations over 20 years lifetime (replacement of scroll chiller in scenarios PVS and REF after 12 years) are given in Figure 4 and Table 5. Greenhouse gas emissions are shown in Figure 5 and Table 6. It can be seen that the solar thermal cooling system (STAC) has signicantly lower lifetime costs than the PV-based system (PVS) under the given assumptions. The cost difference between systems STAC and PVS is approx. $114k over 20 yrs. The reference case (REF) has the lowest lifetime cost of all three systems. Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions have been calculated over the lifetime using indirect emission factors for consumption of purchased electricity from the grid, Table 6. Emission factors for both NSW and Qld are given as 0.89 kg CO2-e/kWhel, emissions for natural gas have been assumed as 200kg CO2e/MWhth[17]. Exported electricity into the grid from the PV system has been accounted for as emissions avoided using the same factors. It
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Table 4. Cost assumptions for NPV calculations

1 2 3 Gas boiler efciency was assumed at 85%. Parabolic collectors have been assumed at $650/m 2, the PV panels at $4.20/Wp. Cost estimates for installation and engineering have been taken from [14].



can be seen that the reference case (REF) has the highest GHG emissions of all three systems. The solar thermal cooling system (STAC) has approx. 78% less GHG emissions than the reference system (REF) under the given assumptions.

Figure 5. Lifetime greenhouse gas emissions of all systems

Figure 4. Lifetime cost of all systems

It is obvious from the analysis that the lifetime cost difference between a solar cooling system (PVS and STAC) and a gridconnected cooling system (REF) is still quite large, despite the recent price drops in PV module price and collector cost. However, the cost difference between a solar thermal system and a PV-based system is signicant under the current assumptions. Therefore it has been investigated which escalation in grid electricity price is required to make a PV-based cooling system competitive with a solar thermal cooling system. Also, it has been investigated at which electricity cost both solar driven cooling systems become competitive with the grid connected scroll chiller system. Figure 6 shows the results.

The PVS system has only 5% of the reference GHG emissions in zone 3 (Sydney) and no operational GHG emissions in Zone 2. This is due to the excess electricity generated over the lifetime, which makes its GHG emissions negative. The excess electricity generated in zone 2 (Brisbane) is slightly higher than in zone 3 (Sydney) due to higher annual solar radiation in zone 2.

NPV results Lifetime cost (20 yrs) Zone 2 (Brisbane) Difference to reference case Lifetime cost (20 yrs) Zone 3 (Sydney) Difference to reference case

STAC $631,879 143% $652,292 146%

PVS $745,959 168% $764,767 171%

REF $443,098 100% $446,953 100%

Table 5. Results of lifetime cost calculations

GHG emissions

GHG emissions Lifetime GHG emissions (t CO2e) Difference to reference case Lifetime GHG emissions (t CO2e) Difference to reference case

STAC 317 22% 332 22%%

PVS -139 -110% 81 5%

REF 1410 100% 1481 100%

Zone 2 (Brisbane)

Zone 3 (Sydney)

Table 6. Lifetime greenhouse gas emissions


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Figure 6. Sensitivity analysis on electricity price to reach lifetime cost parity between reference and solar cooling systems.

A few conclusions can be drawn from Figure 8. At current conditions ($0.17/kWhel) solar thermal cooling (STAC) has a lower lifetime cost than PV-based cooling (PVS) in both zones. In zone 2 (Qld) the STAC and PVS systems have an equal lifetime cost at an electricity price of $0.47 /kWhel. The PVS system has lower lifetime costs than the REF system at electricity price higher than $0.50 /kWhel and the STAC system at electricity cost lower than $0.52 /kWhel. In zone 3 (NSW) the break-even between STAC and PVS occurs at $0.55 /kWhel. Both STAC and PVS have lower lifetime costs than the REF system at electricity prices higher than $0.55 /kWhel.

The main opportunities for solar cooling are: Implementation of Time of Use (ToU) metering, thus encouraging peak power savings Building owners recognition for energy efcient systems. (Green Star and NABERS programs) Implementation of a carbon trading scheme to include for environmental externalities associated with electricity generation. (Carbon pollution reduction scheme). Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) for solar thermal hot water systems Implementation of tradable certicates for energy saving activities (Energy Savings Certicates, ESCs, NSW only) It was found that at current economical conditions and under the given nancial and technical assumptions, a solar thermal cooling system has a lower lifetime cost than a PV-based system. However, both systems have higher lifetime costs than a grid-connected conventional system. A sensitivity analysis on electricity price showed that solar thermal cooling is more economic than PV-based cooling until the electricity price reaches approx. $0.50/kWhel. A PV-based system becomes the most economic cooling alternative if the electricity price exceeds $0.55/ kWhel, beating the reference and solar thermal system in lifetime cost. Greenhouse gas emissions were found to be lowest for the PVbased system due to the excess power being generated over the lifetime. The solar thermal system saves approx. 78% of the emissions of the conventional system. The authors acknowledge that the results of this study are subject to the modelling assumptions and to some degree a snapshot in time. Changes in PV panel cost will inuence this study as well as changes in investment cost for solar thermal collectors and absorption chillers.
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Solar cooling is still a niche technology in Australia, despite good solar resources and a large air conditioning and refrigeration market. Mostly economic, multiple market barriers prevent the technology from achieving bigger market shares. This paper summarises the market barriers and opportunities for solar cooling. It further investigates the economics of a solar thermal, a PV-based and a conventional cooling system over a 20-year lifetime. The main market barriers for solar cooling in Australia are: Low electricity prices Low-cost conventional air conditioning Cross subsidy of conventional air conditioning system by all electricity customers who have to pay for network and generation infrastructure Most components manufactured overseas and imported Low number of installed systems System complexity Professionals involved lack training and experience with solar cooling Australias large climatic variety makes it difcult for a standardised solar cooling system to be implemented.



AC PV Coefcient of performance Consumer price index Greenhouse gas Airconditioning Photovoltaic

th el r p
Thermal Electrical Refrigeration peak

1. Australian Bureau of Meteorology (2009). Last accessed Oct 19th 2009 2. JARN (2009). Japan air-conditioning, heating & refrigeration news. Special Edition May 25 2009. JARN Ltd., Tokyo, Japan. 3. Energy Strategies (2007). Cold Hard Facts. The refrigeration and air-conditioning industry in Australia. Last accessed Oct 19th 2009. 4. JARN (2008). Japan air-conditioning, heating & refrigeration news. Special Edition November 25 2008. JARN Ltd., Tokyo, Japan. 5. National Electricity Marketing and Management Company (2008). Australias National Electricity Market, Statement of Opportunities, accessed online at, 19/10/2009. 6. Jakob, U. (2009). Solar Cooling in Europe. Proc. of Australian Solar Cooling Interest Group Conference, Newcastle, Australia. May 2009.

7. Kohlenbach, P. (2009). The Australian Solar Cooling Industry Group. Proc. of 3rd Int. Conference on Solar Air-Conditioning, Palermo, Italy, Sep 2009. 8. Johnston, W. (2006). Solar Air Conditioning: Opportunities and Obstacles in Australia, ISS Institute Fellowship Report. 9. Thermomax (2008). Last accessed Mar 6th 2008. 10. Research Institute for Sustainable Energy (2009). Last accessed Oct 19th 2008. 11. ECVV (2009). Last accessed Oct 19th 2008. 12. Energy Conservation Systems (2008). Last accessed Oct 19th 2008. 13. Alliance for Responsible Energy Policy (2009). Last accessed Oct 22nd 2009 14. Parsons Brinckerhoff (2008). Solar Power Plant Pre-Feasibility Study, prepared for ACTEWAGL and the ACT Government. Last accessed 19/10/2009. 15. Meteonorm (2009). Global Meteorological Database, Version 6.1. 16. Ofce of the Renewable Energy Regulator (2009). RET process for Owners of Small Generation Units (SGUs), accessed online at, 19/10/2009. 17. Dept. of Climate Change, Australia (2009). National Greenhouse Accounts (NGA) Factors. Published June 2009. 18. North Carolina State University (2007). A journey through Africa, Asia and the Pacic Realm. Gibbs Smith Publishing, Utah, U.S. 19. CSIRO Energy Technology, Newcastle. Private communication, 2008 20. Solar Buzz, company report. Green Econometrics Research, Last accessed Apr 9th 2010. 21. Australian Solar Cooling Interest Group (ausSCIG). Last accessed Apr 9th 2010.

About the authors

Dr Paul Kohlenbach, M.AIRAH, is directior of Solem Consulting. Contact him at Dr Mike Dennis, M.AIRAH, is a senior research fellow at the Centre for Sustainable Energy Systems, Australian National University. Contact him at

HVAC Hygiene





Classication. HVAC system (See 1.5) or Component HVAC System (See 1.6) AHU moisture producing Supply system equipment exhausts Air intakes and or Supply air system, or Return air system, Outside air system Exhaust air system Non-ducted refrigerated Evaporative coolers AHU moisture Supply system producing equipment exhausts Air intakes and or Supply air system, or Return air system, Outside air system Exhaust air system Non-ducted refrigerated a/c a/c


of moisture presence and source system should In particular the in the mould growth supporting any prevented. be identied and World is covered in the more generally Air Mould in buildings (WHO) Guidelines for Indoor n Health Organisatio and Mould. Quality, Dampness

level Minimum hygiene (See Table 2.1) Clean Clean Clean Moderate Pre Filtration Light Post Filtration Light No Filtration Moderate Light Light Clean Clean Clean Light Pre ltration Clean Post Filtration Clean No Filtration Moderate Clean

os 2.5.4. Asbest ion by asbestos dust or bres is

If contaminat If HVAC system be taken and analysed. the samples should ion is conrmed suspected then asbestos contaminat ated by competent the presence of be decontamin entire system should persons.




have and the like may operating theatres g/processing such as clean rooms, bodies, manufacturin use applications other governing certain HVAC special hygiene determined by be noted that of HVAC Note: It should for higher levels specic requirements and the like. and operators System owners activities, regulations within HVAC systems. are familiar with the regulatory that they component should ensure in which they operate. the jurisdiction ion in or on a system requirements of through visual If fungal contaminat

Evaporative coolers

not readily identiable be taken for is suspected, but should surface samples taking procedures for assessment, then Recommended are ion assessment laboratory analysis. for fungal contaminat surface samples D. detailed in Appendix by has been conrmed, , to be If a system or component or analytical assessment system or visual observation ed then the aected mould contaminat should be decontaminated. s system component remediation of a mould aected or thorough Decontamination undertaken if a be only and system should been undertaken the system has samples. assessment of based on limited not an assessment

mould or system due to tion of a HVAC activity that is Note: Decontamina n is a specialised State and Territory microbial contaminatio of this Guideline. for the outside the scope have specic requirements n governments may contaminatio control of microbial reporting and

be sent to a analysis need to assessment, and Samples for fungal for testing and mycological laboratory growth site. Details of sample a fungal be analysis should identication as assessment and removal, transport, testing laboratory. the coordinated with be helpful to identication may Fungal species from the indoor there is a shift determine whether is needed in This concentration. . Clear to the outdoor a proper risk assessment owner and order to perform between the building in order tion communica should be established following the HVAC cleaner level acceptable fungal to determine an of the HVAC system. cleaning and remediation ated and cleaned 3. has been decontamin veried, see Section Once the system level should be the system hygiene

insulation growth. Best practi particular any internal logging or fungal through ce HVAC hygien evidence of water salvageable the managemen implementa e managemen s or ducts deemed microbial t can be from t practices. tion of a few Any system component cleaned and free relatively achieved Filter logged insulation should be thoroughly simple maintenanc aected or water against e Filters growth. Any water replaced. dust are the be be regula and particulates The primar primary products should defence y design . System n within the accord rly inspected 1668.2 which standa lters and ance due to condensatio of the deals with rds for HVAC and AIRAH with the requir maintained, at should outdoor Any water damage be assessed and the cause systems ventila to air, least in ements DA19 on are AS system and AS/NZ location of intake tion require system also needs of AS/NZ HVAC&R mitigated. assessment S 3666.1 identied and S 3666.2 s and discha ments (minim n maint condensatio which deals um be specication should includ enance. The tolter rges, AS/NZS initial with microb exhaust rates) structure) need is optim e a review s to determ 1668.1 details (pipes, building al any HVAC ial contro of the ine if lter control Any water leaks type, lter for the HVAC requiremen l. prior to undertaking associated applic system repaired and rating ation asbestos ts for re , includ with mech identied likely contam , system system due to work. ing the and smoke The prima anical ventila tion of a HVAC is outside the lter inant prole airow and cleaning or restoration of install ry standa Note: Decontaminan is a specialised activity that pressure, tion system ation maintenanc rd for the contaminatio information and maint and the gener s. e is al enanc AS/NZS HVAC systems control qualit y on the e. Comp scope of this Guideline. lters is operation 3666.2. of micro rehen provided selection and Its prima biolog sp. in buildin or smoke and materials are found application sive in AIRAH heat s subjected to asbestos containing be shut down, g water ical contaminants ry focus is the Manag likely focuses and DA15. of air system component emen and air integrity should If potentially friable HVAC their such on All system t of gener is critica moistu to determine and system, the al HVAC handling system as Legionella all re be removed by l for within a HVAC In particular should be evaluated hygiene. minimising re moisture material should s but it The standa contam restoration activity. mounted heaters managemen also ination the poten rd coveri alternative insulation the asbestos containing success of any duct and any smoke contro system t tial for funga removalists and ng the and all electric insulation accordance the asbestos s in spills, dampers or maint includes comp licensed smoke l features leaks or l onents for tness for purpose inspec in its place. This 1851. if it is wettin of HVAC enance of the of AS ted should as soon AS/NZS electric heaters should be assessed maintenance protocols products installed re systems as is practi be dried out g of HVAC Inspec duct mounted 1668.1 and is AS 1851. and 2 are called , AS1668.2 with the survey and cable. tion board surrounding withstand and assess to and asbestos. unable be period ment referenced up in the Buildin AS/NZS 3666 veried to contain ically s or surfaces deemed with are beyond All part 1 and Any component cleaning and restoration out in the recom inspected and HVAC system territories standards and g Code of Austra part should be carried of Practice s should surfaces are mand mendations assessed lia as prima porous removal work proper mechanical be replaced. All may be of Australia. Apart Clean, restore in accord atory National Code of this Guide Note: All asbestos ry individ be evaluated ance NOHSC:2002 from buildin in all states salvage and should smoke damage should and safety legisla ual state all other applicable or comp cleaning accordance with line. and or . speci g legisla of Asbestos and theonents verify hygiene subjected to re following and requirements tion there that should tion and regula c occupationa have cleaning replaced level once for the Safe Removal odour retention and restor been identi government regulations l health should be systems for friability and operation be complied tions relating imme state and local ation work ed as contam assessed as friable to the diately includ to HVAC and with and maint ion has to impart odours process. Any areas should ing enance. as they are releva hygiene materials likely of the restore be under inated, materials and contaminat be The select d system verifying the cleanl nt to both or resurfaced. Any taken Once all asbestos system should be replaced. Good ion and . iness the entire HVAC veried. air stream should by be house applic supply AS should been removed 1324 level keepin to heat ation of due a comm g HVAC e damage system hygiene ltration and minimum gener on sense as asbestos-fre cleaned and the surface exhibiting of condition application al lters are gener approach hygiene also acceptable s should be labelled register updated. Any component HEPA lters ventilation system ating activit residual to an requires requiremen covered The component bestos to any ies within to limiting contam should be restored respon are classi s given are materials/as be exposure ts ding speci should for n of a ed in AS the to any inant and the hazardous ed in AS surfaces Even It is not internal unusual building and 4260. everyd or replaced. Consideratio on the 1668.2. intended promptly contam ay tasks that may remain be highly disinfe Guideline ination that the such as residue can smoke residue event. cleaning , food prepa types of smoke cting)n aected mandatoryconict with therecommendations copyin of the (vacuu the system. Certainto eventualand deterioratio requiremen beration and docum ming, standards of this lead unacceptabg may can also be inadve Commonwea corrosive and 12 or ts ent printin rtently le contam Some smoke residues or smoke lth, State with the requir of any of these g by smoke, heat inants into introducing component surface. or Territo ements components are to surfaces aected of any the HVAC ry regula of non-porous toxic. Any metal or odours to competent persons tion. system. When the surface be evaluated by or eective. contributing particulates residue should aect the quality will be achievable deteriorated and or otherwise adversely restoration should determine if restoration the air stream, from re suppression through the system, of all downstream s aected by water 2.5.7. of the air moving cleaning Any component accordance with and inspection/ be assessed in be performed activities should out as required. carried s component

1.10. B estpract damage ice hygiene 2.5.7. Water and components subjected to surfaces to determine salvage All HVAC system manage In should be evaluated water damage restoration activity. ment for success of any ability and likely should be investigated1.10.1.
Principl es

HVAC system any unusu s and comp onents should any renovaal contamination event such be inspected events are tion/building after as a re activit assessed or ood in accord ies. Unusual contam or ance with 2.5 of this ination Guideline. Where HVAC adequately systems or component cleaned s canno they should be repaire t be d or replac ed.

Unusual contam ination eve




1.9. HV AC



1.11. H VACs andregtandards ulations

Best practi building ce HVAC hygien and system e manag operation ement requir and maint documentati es good system on includ enanc drawings ing up to system showing e manuals, accura date commissioni access points te as install ng data. ed and origin The buildin al conducted g owner should with record HVAC Hygiene maintain record Inspection s of s of any system cleaning Repor ts any hygien along inspections. e verication or remedial works and carried Mainta prole of any out as a a buildin ining these record result of HVAC hygien g or system such s builds up a e manag over time ement. that assistshygiene In additi in on, assessmentsany reports relating or any energ to indoo also be retained r air qualit y with these managemen t report y records. s should

1.10.2. Record s

age dsmokedam 2.5.8. Firean

system ptions listed in hygiene Table 2.1, inspector determ provide ine the HVAC with the minim if cleaning is requir four hygien e levels ed when to in Table um acceptable assess 2.3. hygiene standards ed against as listed

2.1. Hyg iene levelsde The descri n

System in andass spection essmen t

Access is requir ed in order of all comp to inspec onents internal and a repres t the intern surfac 1.6.12. AS/NZ es of the HVAC entative portio al surfaces n of the systems S 3666 provision of access parts 1 and 2 bothas dened in for maint enance. require adequ ate Inspections and

2.2. Acce ss forinspe


Hygiene 1. Clean 2. Light


Description No visible




r eteriorationo 2.5.5. D rfaces non-poroussu

3. Mode rate

4. Heavy

fporous eteriorationo 2.5.6. D s surfacesandlining

or lining materials HVAC insulation When internal traces of the deteriorated and within the system are found to be product found should be insulation or lining deteriorated surfaces s of the system components, the aected component inspected restored and the system and the entire should be cleaned cleaned as required. ts and for contaminan

uildingorren 2.5.9. B contamination


contaminant category of subject to this Any HVAC system to determine the hygiene level s found to have should be evaluated system or component debris greater the system. Any dust and particulate be cleaned. accumulated general 2.3 should d, specied in Table ion encountere than the levels the type of contaminat Depending on


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dust, debris or other contam Only slightly ination. to no variatio visible layer ns in densit of ne genera l dust consis Component y. tent over surface remains the compo visible benea Visible levels nent surfac th the ne e with little of genera layer of l dust with Component dust. varying surface densit y is still visible and limited High levels in some areas of areas benea of visible accumulated other contam dust, debris th the ne ne debris ination dust but that cover , bres or any . Component in isolate the compo d section surface s may not nent. is barely if not at be. all visible beneath the contam ination. Reference image



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AIRAHs newly released HVAC Hygiene Best Practice Guidelines are available to purchase in hard copy.
n Establishes the criteria for evaluating the internal cleanliness of HVAC system components n Clearly determines when cleaning is required, according to the building use n Describes the components of HVAC systems to be evaluated n Describes the types of contamination likely to be encountered and includes for post re and ood damage assessments n Species minimum inspection frequencies for various HVAC systems and components for scheduled maintenance programs

Order your copy online at or email E CO L I B R I U M D E C E M B e R 2 0 1 0