Subscribe to our weekly newsletters
Subscribe to newsletter


Editor's Note: Cool-Therm provide:-

Cooling systemCooling system
Chiller installationChiller installation
System cooling System cooling
Water chillersWater chillers

Request Information

Include Article

Request Information
Terms of use


Request Facilities / Interiors product information

Request Architectural product information External

Request Architectural product information Internal

Request Mechanical HVAC product information

Request Electrical product information


COOL-THERM Blue Reef-IMAX Chiller Installation Uses Dock-Water For Cooling In The Heart Of Bristol 

A pioneering cooling system that harnesses dock-water is up and running in the heart of Bristol.

The cooling installation at Blue Reef Aquarium and IMAX 3D Cinema in Bristol has two major claims to fame. It is the site of the first Turbomiser chiller installation in the UK, and it harnesses natural cooling from water drawn from Bristol docks to dramatically increase efficiency.

Ahead of its time, the chiller was installed four years ago as part of a ground-breaking low energy cooling initiative. However, just three weeks after start-up, the company occupying the building closed – and the associated chiller plant was shut down.

Today, however, after three years lying silent in the plant room, the chiller that began the Turbomiser revolution in the UK has been recommissioned and is now up and running serving Bristol’s recently opened Blue Reef Aquarium and IMAX 3D Cinema.

The 500kW plant uses two Turbocor compressors to produce chilled water for cooling the huge salt-water tanks that house Blue Reef’s collection of fish and marine animals.

The chiller is also used to cool the lamps for the centre’s high power IMAX projector, used for spectacular under-water features which take visitors on an immersive 3D journey beneath the waves.

“It is a 24-7 job, and the facility depends completely on the chiller to keep things running”, says Peter Lambert, maintenance manager.

“Without constant cooling, the tanks can quickly change in temperature, increasing the chance of us losing livestock. It is also critical for the IMAX system, as it has to be kept cool to protect the highly valuable lamps from burn-out. A reliable system is therefore absolutely essential.”

He added: “The chiller has performed perfectly since recommissioning. It is an excellent design and very reliable.”

Alex Strong of Cool-Therm, who was responsible for the chiller recommissioning, said: “After four years sitting idle, we simply pressed the button and it fired-up first time. It has run like a dream ever since. It proves the incredible design and resilience of the Turbomiser.”

Dock water is used to help condense refrigerant, boosting the plant’s efficiency and reducing running costs. Water is drawn into the plant room from the nearby dock by two giant pumps at around 10deg C in the winter and around 20deg C in summer.

The chiller is designed to produce chilled water at a constant 6deg C, which is used to cool water from the tanks via a large plate heat exchanger.

The aquarium tanks are served by some 30,000 to 40,000 litres of temperature-controlled water.

“The design was ahead of its time in many ways,” says Alex. “People are only now really waking up to the possibilities of harnessing natural heat sinks, such as ground water, lakes and the like. There are many situations where these opportunities exist.

“In the centre of Bristol alone, there are hundreds of major buildings sited within a few metres of the docks and inland tributaries. They could be benefiting from a free source of cooling - literally on their doorstep.”

He added: “The rise in energy costs makes it more and more attractive to harness such natural sources of cooling. When combined with an already high-efficiency chiller such as the Turbomiser, it is compelling. It can save many thousands of pounds a year in energy costs.”

Since the chiller was installed, Turbomiser has gone on to win a string of awards for its ultra-efficient performance. This culminated recently with landing CIBSE’s top award for low carbon technology, presented at a start-studded event in London.

The Turbomiser is the result of a five-year collaboration between two UK companies, Cool-Therm and Klima-Therm, and Italian manufacturer Geoclima.

As a result of its combination of energy-efficient technologies, optimised and harnessed by a sophisticated control system, the chiller uses between 30 and 50 per cent of the energy required by conventional systems, such as screw and reciprocating compressors.

“We believe Turbomiser is the future of chiller technology,” says Alex. “With more than 60 installations now in the UK, it is quickly replacing conventional screw and reciprocating technology as the mainstream choice for cooling buildings, people and industrial processes.”

One side-effect of using dock water was not foreseen. The heat added to the outgoing water stimulated the growth of mussels, which became so prolific they would block the system. This required manual clearing every few days to keep the pipework clear.

The problem was overcome with lower temperatures associated with the new Turbomiser system, which meant return water was cooler and didn’t spur the naturally occurring molluscs into life.


Wavin Drainage system Water drainage systems Drainage inspection chamber News 100510

Honeywell Balancing valve Automatic balancing valves Pressure balance valve News 100510

Mitsubishi Ventilation systems Energy efficient heating Air heat exchangers News 100510

Terrys Eyelet curtains Interior design blog Ready made curtains News 100510

Vent Axia Ventilation systems Energy efficient ventilation Recovery ventilation systems News 100510

Recticel Insulation products Closed cell insulation Thermal insulation products News 100510

Cooltherm Cooling system Chiller installation System cooling Water chillers News 100510

Cablofil Cable management system Steel wire tray Tray cable News 110510

Armstrong Plant rooms Hvac system Variable speed drive pumps News 110510

GE Consumer Electric meters Power meters Smart meter Control products News 110510

Harlequin Dance studio floor Vinyl flooring Blue dance floor News 110510

Oracle Storage systems Medical records storage Data storage systems News 110510

Wavin Plumbing fittings Plumbing pipe Push fittings Pipe fittings News 120510

Eurobrick Tile cladding Stone faced cladding Brick slip cladding News 120510

Flakt Woods Air handling units Energy solutions Air handling systems News 120510

Eaton Earth connections Earth wiring Terminal connectors Electrical switchgear News 120510

Actionair Air diffusion grilles Fire dampers Grilles diffusers louvres News 120510

Air Diffusion Cooling systems Low energy ventilation Computer floor grille News 120510

3M Respirator mask 3m respirator Asbestos respirator Asbestos mask News 120510

Formica Product life cycle assessment Lca products Lca analysis News 120510

Clark Drain covers Recessed drain covers Plastic drain covers News 120510

Flakt Woods Air diffusers Air handling units Air handling systems News 130510

Flowcrete Floor finishes Epoxy flooring Resin floor Floor screed News 130510

Urban Tree planter Green roofs Urban tree Tree planters News 130510

Dimplex Ground heat pumps Heat pumps Water heat pumps News 130510

Oracle Storage systems Office storage systems Room divider units Units 130510

Carlisle Brass Door furniture Door handles Door ironmongery Door backplates News 130510

Klargester Sewage treatment plant Biodisc sewage treatment Sewage drainage News 130510

Actionair Fire protection systems Fire dampers Motorised fire damper News 140510

Hitachi Wall air conditioners Air conditioner Energy efficient cooling News 140510

Tarkett Vinyl flooring Safety flooring Hospital flooring Recycled flooring News 140510

Eurobrick Brick slip cladding Tile cladding Stone faced cladding News 140510

Clark Drain covers Recessed drain covers Drain inspection covers News 140510

Sika Single ply roof Vinyl roofing Roof waterproof membrane News 140510

TBS Fabrications Washroom cubicles Washroom accessories Vanity units Duct panels News 140510

Pulsar Renewable energy systems Plumbing specialists Eco traning courses News 140510

Kalzip Standing seam roofing Low U-value roofing Metal roofing and cladding News 140510

ALC Lighting controls Light sensors Automatic lighting Area controllers News 140510

Mapei Floor tile adhesives Floor sealant Solvent-free adhesives News 140510

HCP Heating specialists Radiant heating Heating systems Heating panels News 140510

Timberplay Outdoor playground equipment Wooden playground equipment Play facilities News 140510

Marshall Tufflex Light energy saving Cable trays Cable tray systems News 170510

Weatherite Commercial kitchen ventilation Air conditioning Kitchen ventilation equipment News 170510

Leaderflush Shapland Doorsets Fire doors Veneered doors Internal doors News 170510

Dulux Dulux paint Exterior paint Trade paint Weathershield paint News 170510

Harlequin Portable dance floors Sprung dance floors Dance floors News 170510

Jeld-Wen Wood veneer doors Real wood veneer Internal doors News 170510

Klober Roofing materials Roofing tiles Roofing supplies Cpd presentation News 180510

Levolux Solar shading Ventilation louvres Curtain walling Timber fins News 180510

Armacell Armaflex insulation Bacteria protection Duct insulation Pipework insulation News 180510

Terrys Curtain poles Curtain fabrics Eyelet curtains Interior design News 180510

Schuco Energy saving windows Aluminium windows Super insulated windows News 190510

Sureset Resin bound paving Paving products Block paving driveways News 190510

Trend Energy management systems Electricity meters Variable speed News 190510

Socomec Electrical switchgear Power quality Uninterruptible power News 200510

Riegens Industrial lighting Exterior lights Safety lights Commercial News 200510

Dorma Swing doors Entrance doors Exterior sliding doors News 200510

Marshall Tufflex Electrical wiring Wiring systems Cable trunking Cable installation News 210510

Leaderflush Doorset manufacturer Timber doors Doors internal Doors external News 210510

Dow Roof insulation Floor insulation Sound insulation Insulation material News 210510

Blinds UK Window blinds Window treatments Internal blinds Blinds manufacturers News 210510

Gooding Group Wardrobe sliding doors Wardrobes systems Sliding wardrobes doors News 210510

SSQ Slate roof tiles Natural stone flooring Slate sculpture News 210510

Harlequin Sprung dance floors Dance floor Dance studio floor News 210510

Action Storage Storage shelves Shelving systems Shelving storage Storage equipment News 210510

Morgan Lovell Office design Office refurbishment services Office space design News 210510

Arundel Jones Associates Ltd Registered in England and Wales No. 07334149
Hill Farm, Linton Hill, Maidstone, Kent ME 17 4AL
Tel : 01622 745333 email
copyright all rights reserved

News Categories : Cooling system
Chiller installation System cooling
Water chillers