UPDATED: London Olympics will partly use ammonia

By Sabine Lobnig, Oct 27, 2010, 12:44 2 minute reading

The Olympic Delivery Authority will only partly admit to its previous announcement to use ammonia to cool venues that due to their location cannot be catered for by the park’s big energy centre. Hence, the Aquatic Centre will make use of ammonia chillers, while the Olympic Stadium will use HFC technology. UPDATE: The Olympic Delivery Authority has officially unveiled the Energy Centre building that will use ammonia technology.

90% of the permanent cooling of the London Olympic site will be HFC-free, including:
  • The Energy Centre will feature ammonia chillers: The new Energy Centre and network being built on the site will provide efficient and low-carbon power by using new technology including biomass boilers and a gas-fired Combined Cooling Heat & Power plant to capture the heat generated as a by-product of electricity production. The Energy Centre will feature ammonia chillers. According to the “Sustainable design and construction update”, 2,250 tonnes in carbon will be saved per year due to the Combined Cooling Heat and Power (CCHP) plant.
On 19 October 2010, Mayor of London Boris Johnson, ODA Chief Executive David Higgins and Gérard Mestrallet, Chairman & CEO of GDF SUEZ who will own and operate the new facility, officially opened the state-of-the-art Energy Centre building. Being the largest energy centre scheme to be built so far in the UK, the facility will provide an efficient low-carbon heating and cooling system across the site for the Games and for the new buildings and communities that will develop in the area after 2012. Cooling will be provided through a combination of electric, ammonia based chillers and absorption chillers driven by the heat recovered from the plant in the Energy Centre. The Energy Centre has a flexible modular design, meaning that further capacity and new technology can be added as the area is developed after the Games and demand increases.
  • The Aquatics Centre will also feature an ammonia chiller: Being located too far from the energy centre to be catered for by it, the Aquatics Centre will make use of a separate ammonia chiller. The ODA had previously announced its decision to use natural refrigerants to cool the Aquatic Centre building, after receiving criticism last summer from the Commission for a Sustainable London 2012 among others for its original plans to use HFCs for the purpose.
After this criticism, the ODA also announced to refrain from using HFCs for cooling the other venue located too far from the energy centre, namely the Olympic Stadium. However, it now turns out that HFC rather than ammonia chillers will be used for the purpose. “The Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) said that because the Stadium may be reduced in size after the Games, that would have meant scrapping two of the proposed three ammonia chillers, leading to an environmental impact”, reports the RAC Magazine edition of January 2010.

The future of ammonia in the Olympics Games

ammonia21.com will be observing the use of R717 in large installations at the Olympic Games over the coming years. Coming next is an update on this year's Winter Olympics to be held on 12-28 February in Vancouver, Canada.

Original article published on 19 January 2010
Updated on 27 October 2010



By Sabine Lobnig

Oct 27, 2010, 12:44

Related stories

Sign up to our Newsletter

Fill in the details below