PlantPRO optimizing popular Melbourne tourist precinct

Southgate is a vibrant restaurant, shopping and entertainment destination located along the banks of the Yarra River, Melbourne. The centre is located directly opposite Flinders Street Station at the gateway to Melbourne’s arts precinct, in the heart of Southbank. The restaurant and shopping precinct forms part of the overall Southgate complex including the HWT Centre and IBM Tower, owned and managed by DEXUS Property Group.



The HVAC systems at Southgate are large and complex. PlantPRO control was installed at the site in order to control, optimise, monitor and report on the systems in order to achieve more efficient use of equipment and realise energy and cost savings. Ageing chillers were also replaced to enhance operations and efficiency.


The Challenge

The use of such a large and complex HVAC system, coupled with the installation of two new chillers, required the need for a central plant system to be installed, ensuring that the equipment is properly optimised for maximum efficiency.


Optimisation is required for the chillers, cooling tower fans, water pumps and condensers. Additionally, functionality that provided proprietary lift optimisation control, reporting and energy analysis and diagnostics was all part of the project brief.


The Solution

PlantPRO uses “Smart Sequencing” that optimizes a chiller plant by running the most efficient combination of chillers for the given conditions even when some machines may be out of service. It selects the most efficient load point for each running chiller. If a chiller goes below the nominal efficiency of that chiller, it can be proactively checked by service personnel minimizing electrical energy waste and avoiding compounding service issues that can be costly.


In addition to “Smart Sequencing”, PlantPRO also optimizes the plant through advanced variable pumping control and lift optimisation on the refrigerant side. The sum of these strategies equates to industry leading plant performance levels that set an industry benchmark for energy efficiency.


In January 2015, PlantPRO was installed and configured at Southgate Retail, taking over control of the existing equipment.


The Results

The combination of the replacement of two chillers along with PlantPRO installation resulted in the first 12 months yielding a total cost saving of $166,345, equating to a kWh saving of 924,143. When compared to baseline energy consumption from the previous 12-months, this results in a total saving of 34.5%.


Further detailed analysis of this data shows that the installation of PlantPRO directly contributes to 20% of the total saving, equating to $33,269 or 184,828kWh.

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