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IBM Canada's innovative water cooling project recognized for innovation and energy efficiency

IBM Canada (Bromont) was awarded Hydro-Québec's Écolectrique designation

04 Jun 2007 -- IBM Canada (Bromont) was awarded Hydro-Québec's Écolectrique designation for outstanding leadership in energy efficiency and conservation. The identification is reserved for large power customers who implement energy efficiency projects that result in a minimum 5% reduction in electricity consumption.

Accepting the award on behalf of IBM, Peter Bisset, manager, Site Operations, Bromont, Quebec, acknowledged that the recognition was awarded, in large part, for the significant energy savings realized from an innovative water cooling project the Bromont plant implemented in 2006.

Named Énerstat after the phase change materials developed by Groupe Énerstat which played a major role in the project, the thermal energy system with phase change materials combined with free cooling, a variable frequency drive chiller and predictive algorithm control is a first in North America. Phase change materials are substances that can accumulate and release energy during phase change. In this case, a change from liquid to solid. The system also uses a natural cooling exchanger, which runs from September to May to take advantage of Mother Nature's natural cooling season. Energy consumption has gone from .892 kW/ton of cooling to .415 kW/ton of cooling and saved IBM $350,000 (CAD) per year in the process. The energy savings associated with this project are in the vicinity of 6% per year and will reduce electrical power demand by more than 1 megawatt.

The Énerstat project was awarded first place in the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers' (ASHRAE) Technology Awards in the existing industrial facilities or processes category. The Awards recognize on an international scale, successful applications of innovative design, which incorporate ASHRAE standards for effective energy management, indoor air quality and good mechanical design.

The project also received an Energia Award 2006 in the category "technical innovation".