Heat exchanger malfunction at the Ashburton Art Gallery and Heritage Centre


‚ÄčA breakdown in one of the heat exchangers, part of the air conditioning plant in the Ashburton Art Gallery and Heritage Centre, occurred on Friday (December 19).

The Ashburton District Council is working closely with the building's mechanical engineers Opus International Ltd and the suppliers of the Thermocold equipment, Cookes Industries Ltd, to get it back up and running as quickly as possible.

The heat exchanger, which is under warranty, is part of the air conditioning unit which serves the upper floor of the building.  

Commercial Manager John Rooney says the building's three air conditioning units have been operating since July and while there had been some fluctuations in temperature and humidly this was expected due to moisture levels associated with a new building.

"It takes a while for the humidity and temperature to settle down and we were getting close to having a continued stabilised level for the building. Unfortunately, on Friday one of the heat exchangers tripped out."

Mr Rooney says this has happened before with other heat exchanger units, particularly when there is a temperature or humidity spike which is why the commissioning period is so important.

The unit is monitored so it can be adjusted to only allow gradual variations when a temperature readjustment is needed. The air conditioning units in the building are complex because of the sensitive environments they are controlling.

He says the equipment installed and the suppliers have a very good reputation and track record within the building services industry in New Zealand which was confirmed during due diligence before accepting the tender.

"We are doing everything we can to get this problem sorted but with the Christmas break upon us this may take longer than normal."

Another issue that came to light a couple of weeks ago during the commissioning process was a faulty lift sensor which caused the lift to stop working. The sensor has been replaced.

The glass door that was smashed by a vandal has also been replaced. Replacement was covered under insurance but still cost the ratepayer $2,500 for the excess.

Mr Rooney says the final invoices are coming in to replace the glass door. The cost to the insurer will be known in the New Year.

Page reviewed: 22 Dec 2014 4:47pm