Tabreed: Nanofluid technology breakthrough as 13.6% increase in chiller efficiency recorded at Khalifah City

Maxwell initiative showed promising results in significantly enhancing energy efficiency in cooling systems over summer

Tabreed in partnership with Ireland-based HT Materials Science (HTMS), has successfully completed a groundbreaking pilot project using a revolutionary nanofluid technology named ‘Maxwell.’

This initiative, a first of its kind globally, has shown promising results in significantly enhancing energy efficiency in cooling systems.

The technology, named after 19th-century scientist James Clerk Maxwell, involves an engineered nanofluid – a suspension of sub-micron aluminium oxide particles in a base fluid. Applied across Tabreed’s extensive network of 89 district cooling plants, Maxwell has the potential to increase energy efficiency by up to 15%. This translates to a substantial environmental impact, theoretically preventing around 200,000 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions annually, equivalent to powering 20,000 homes or taking 43,500 cars off the road.

Tested at a Tabreed district cooling facility in Khalifah City, Abu Dhabi, during the summer of 2023, Maxwell demonstrated a remarkable 13.6% increase in chiller efficiency and a 9.0% overall plant efficiency improvement. This was achieved by enhancing the thermal capacity of water in the chilled water system, leading to more efficient operation of chillers and other cooling equipment.

Khalid Al Marzooqi, CEO of Tabreed, expressed his pride in leading such innovative and impactful initiatives, aligning with the UAE’s Net-Zero strategy. He emphasized the importance of this development in accelerating the energy transition and providing efficient cooling solutions globally.

Maxwell’s non-toxic, non-corrosive nature, along with its recyclability, adds to its appeal for widespread application in both new and existing HVAC systems. It is anticipated to be a game-changer in reducing the environmental impact of cooling systems, which account for a significant portion of energy consumption worldwide.

Following the successful pilot, Tabreed and HTMS are planning to extend Maxwell’s application to other district cooling facilities within Tabreed’s portfolio. This move is timely, considering the anticipated tripling of global cooling demand by 2050. With district cooling already recognized as up to 50% more energy-efficient than conventional methods, Maxwell’s adoption could mark a major step forward in sustainable cooling.

Thomas Grizzetti, CEO of HTMS, highlighted Maxwell’s potential to significantly reduce energy usage and carbon footprint across various industries. He commended the partnership with Tabreed as a strategic move towards achieving broader adoption of this cutting-edge technology.

This initiative represents a major stride in sustainable cooling technology, offering a blueprint for energy-efficient practices in an industry critical to global environmental goals.

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