Energy-efficient free cooling system cools South America's tallest building

Alfa Laval is supplying a cooling solution for the project which involves the use of cold water from a nearby river. The result is a unique, energy-efficient free cooling system.

DATE 2023-11-28

The Costanera Center, which is owned by the Chilean retail group Cencosud, will consist of four skyscrapers. Besides the main Torre Gran tower with its two hypermarkets, a six-floor shopping mall with more than 200 stores, and two luxury hotels, there will be two more 170-metre-high office towers and an additional building that will be 105 metres high.

Alfa Laval Chile provides components for the cooling system for all four buildings. “Cencosud came to us because of our expertise,” says Sergio Cerda, Alfa Laval Chile. “They asked us what options existed for using water from the river, whose temperature can be just 6 degrees Celsius in the winter, for cooling. We carriedout a study and proposed some alternatives.”

The resulting solution uses water from the nearby Canal San Carlos. This is understood to be the first time river water has been used in this way for cooling in South America. “Using river water makes the system very energy-efficient,” says Sergio Cerda. “In this way, the customer saves a lot of energy.”




Gasketed plate heat exchangers

  • Alfa Laval plate heat exchangers, with their compactness and reliability at high pressure, are ideal for use in tall buildings 
  •  They boost high energy efficiency with a high heat transfer coefficient
  • They fit in limited spaces with a sixth of the load of a corresponding shell-and-tube heat exchanger
  • Maintenance costs are kept down thanks to easy access and part replacement and fast cleaning-in-place 
  • Easy to install and requiring no concrete foundation, Alfa Laval plate heat exchangers also act as pressure breakers between zones in tall buildings.

ALF - Alfa Laval filter

  • ALF operates as an integral part of a cooling system, removing debris that can foul and clog plate heat exchangers and similar equipment.
  • The filter provides protection for all downstream equipment, ensuring better performance along with longer service life, increased uptime and reduced maintenance costs.
  •  The ALF automatic flushing filter cleans the river water in this free cooling application.