Australia’s Epic Drought is Global Warning

Another bit of water news reading from Australia.

Australia’s Epic Drought is Global Warning

Circle of Blue Reports

The grievous consequences of drought and global warming are more visible and dangerous in Australia than in any other industrialized nation.

Wildfires last month killed 210 people in Victoria. The country’s greatest wetland, the Coorong near Adelaide, is drying up. And as it does, the sulfur in the exposed bottomlands mixes with oxygen in the air to form sulfuric acid mud that is killing aquatic life. Forests of Red Gum trees, hearty sentinels of Australia’s arid landscape, are dying. And crops across southeast Australia’s Murray-Darling Basin, one of the planet’s most productive food growing regions, are failing. Once prosperous rural cities are in decline, and suicides in farm families occur at a rate twice the national average.

From Australian Broadcasting News

Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop has announced a $9 million aid package for the Pacific while touring areas affected by severe drought in Papua New Guinea.

Ms Bishop visited Wapemananda in Enga Province in the Papua New Guinea highlands today, one of the areas more severely affected by the El Nino-induced drought.

Ms Bishop said it was important to see the impact first-hand and assess the damage.

"I want to hear from those on ground, the NGOs, the local communities, about the impact and then assess what Australia would be able to do to help," she said.

Of the pledged funding, $5 million will be given to specific programs in Papua New Guinea, mainly for technical and logistical support.

Benefits of Using Atmospheric Water Generators to Address Water Crisis

Many parts of the world, such as third world countries, remain challenged when it comes to water supply, but they might not have to deal with this problem for long. A relatively new invention known as the atmospheric water generator makes it so that people in areas affected by water crisis tap into the huge amounts of water that is in the air. Water generated can then be used to quench the thirst of civilians and even to operate business operations. There are certainly many benefits to utilizing air-water makers.

Renewable Energy Solutions and Their Importance in the Modern World

Renewable energy solutions are derived from naturally occurring sources that can be replenished. This includes solar, geothermal, wind and hydroelectric power. In contrast, non-renewable energy sources such as coal and oil are derived from materials that can run out once they have been extracted and used in different applications. Renewable energy is clean or green energy since it is considered environmentally friendly and does not produce pollution.

Case Study: SoCal Energy Lab Study of Chiller

Cooling Technologies, Inc. (now a partner in MultiChill Technologies, Inc.) approached SoCal Gas with a proposal to demonstrate a 5 RT Gas Air Conditioner unit in the field. SoCal desired a third party evaluation of the unit to ensure it would perform as specified in the field. SoCal’s performance testing was conducted at their Energy Resource Center Laboratory in California. SoCal issued the Summary charts shown here which demonstrate the above specification performance of the unit when comparing Cooltec’s figures (red) against the test laboratory findings (blue).

Cooltec case studies USA

“The Cooltec unit is the first product that we have tested in our laboratory that performed above the manufacturer’s specifications” – SoCal Energy Engineer

Cooltec case studies USA2

Summary and Performance

• SoCal Energy Lab
• Cooltec 5RT
• Capacity and Endurance
• Efficiency at High Ambient
• +10% Performance vs Specifications
• 15% Downrate at 45degC

Case Study: MultiGen Installation Statistics & Overview

Client: Government Educational Institution in Australia (Click Here to View Photos)

Key Project Statistics:

  • Electricity is generated on-site 24×7 at $0.175/kWh saving almost $0.20/kWh compared to grid supplied
  • Estimated Annual CO2 Savings: 350 tonnes
  • Estimated Annual Savings: $100,000 +
  • Estimated Payback: 4.5 years
  • Gas Consumption:
  • 888MJ/Hour (MircoTurbine)
  • 94MJ/Hour (Each Absorption Chiller – ‘*if required’)
  • * The chillers exclusively use waste heat from the Micro-Turbine.
  • * Free cool air conditioning save electricity normally required to do so.
  • *Free heating saves the electricity normally required to do so.
  • * Water generation from the air also save electricity if required to do so.

Project Description: Replace a highly inefficient HVAC system. Install a MultiGen system to meet HVAC requirements, generate on-site power to supplement existing grid load, produce water to supplement irrigation and provide air conditioning. Decommission and remove old equipment including a vapour compressor, condensers, air handling unit and electric duct re-heaters.

Project Installation Contractor: Stallion Air Conditioning Sydney, Australia

MultiGen Model: MultiGen65 90kWr – Power, Hot Water, Chilled Water, Air Conditioning and Water from the Air

MultiGen System Installed: MicroTurbine with Integrated Heat Recovery Unit (left). Waste Heat Absorption Chillers (centre), Electric Chiller and Water Maker Air Handling Unit (right)


  • Electricity Generation
  • Hot Water and Chilled Water Production,
  • Air Conditioning and Water Making from the Air

Pre-Project Statistics

  • Hourly Electricity Consumption of Plant: 60-90 kW (Higher energy consumption when 5 electric duct mounted reheaters were in operation)
  • HVAC Capacity Requirement: 90kW

Post-Project Statistics:

  • Plant Consumption: 20kW
  • On-site Electricity Generation from MicroTurbine: 60kW usable
  • Free Cooling from Waste Heat Chillers: 34 kWt
  • Free Heating from Waste Heat Recovery Unit: 34 kW
  • Additional Electric Chiller: 56 kWt
  • Noise Level: <65Dba
  • MicroTurbine Emissions Data: 15% O2 NOX4-9ppm , C0-30ppm
  • Absorption Chiller Emissions:   6.5% O2, CO-30ppm, 8.2% CO2, Ratio: 0.0004

MultiGen system comprises of:

  • 1 x 65kW Gas Powered MicroTurbine with an Integrated Heat Recovery Unit and Gas Compressor
  • 1 x Hot Water Heating Coil fitted to the A/C Ducting, Expansion Tank and Roof Mounted Dump Cooler
  • 1 x Dual Mode Controller for Grid Connect or Standalone Operation of the MicroTurbine
  • 2 x 17kWr Dual Fired (Waste Heat and Gas) Air-Cooled Absorption Chillers with Buffer and Expansion Tanks
  • 1 x 34kW Water Maker Air Handler
  • 1 x 56 kWt Air-Cooled Electric Chiller with Buffer and Expansion Tanks
  • 1 x 56 kW Water Maker Air Handler
  • 3 x Wafer Style Flue Valves with Actuators to Control Waste Heat

MultiGen System Operation Overview

The MicroTurbine is supplied with natural gas and generates 65kW of electricity 24 hours a day and has 60kW usable. The electricity generated supplements the Institute’s business hours electricity supply grid load of 140kW and provides all electricity out of business hours approximately 50kW per hour. The MircoTurbine is connected to the Institute’s Building Management System to enable load-following and monitoring of gas consumption and electricity generation. The MicroTurbine has the capacity to operate, via the Dual Mode Controller, to follow a load of Stand Alone in the event of a grid failure.

The waste heat from the MicroTurbine is used to heat water through the integrated Heat Recovery Unit for 34kWt of space heating. When cooling is required the waste heat is used to initiate chilled water from the Absorption chillers for 34kWt of space cooling. The electric chiller provides the additional 56kWt of cooling and heating required.

If heating or cooling isn’t required the waste heat is exhausted to atmosphere. The Water Maker Air Handler units make 5 litres of water per hour per 3.6kW of cooling capacity when the temperature is 27c with relative humidity of 60%. The Water Maker Air Handler’s water production capacity varies according to local climatic conditions and can be set to operate at different time of the day or night via a timer.

The Absorption Chillers are dual fired, air-cooled and use ammonia as the refrigerant. They have 3 modes of operation:

  • • Waste heat only
  • • Natural gas only
  • • Waste Heat and Natural Gas

If the MicroTurbine is not operational the chillers will fire automatically on natural gas and continue operation. The MicroTurbine normally provides the necessary waste heat for the chillers. Up to 4 Chillers can be coupled to one 65 kW Capstone MicroTurbine. In the event that the waste heat is insufficient natural gas is used to maintain the desired operational temperature of the Chillers hence duel fired terminology.

All components require minimal maintenance. The gas appliances that form part of MultiGen system, the MicroTurbine and Absorption Chillers, have been inspected and certified that they comply with the strict Australia standards specifically:

  • • AS 3814 – Gas Appliances and,
  • • AS 4625 – Electronic Flame Safeguards and Flame Detectors.

Global Water Facts

As we continue to pollute our waters, less fresh water is becoming available for us to drink. More rivers, lakes, and underground aquifers are drying up as the years pass. As bodies of water around the world continue to dry up, we’re seeing more drought conditions spread. There are dust storms in places which have never experienced them until now. As time flows, the amount of agricultural land shrinks, and deserts are growing.

Here are some of the signs of an upcoming global water crisis and some links you may be interested in reading.

#1 It is being projected that by the year 2030, global demand for water will be 40 percent higher than it is today.

#2 Worldwide demand for fresh water tripled during the last century, and is now doubling every 21 years.

#3 According to USAID, one-third of the population of the earth will be facing severe or chronic water shortages by the year 2025.

#4 Of the 60 million people added to the world’s cities every year, the vast majority of them live in impoverished areas that have no sanitation facilities whatsoever.

#5 It is estimated that 75 percent of the surface water in India is now contaminated by human and agricultural waste.

#6 If you can believe it, according to a UN study on sanitation, far more people in India have access to a cell phone than to a toilet.

#7 In the developing world, 90 percent of all wastewater is discharged completely untreated into local rivers, streams or lakes.

#8 Every 8 seconds, somewhere in the world a child dies from drinking dirty water.

#9 Due to a lack of water, Saudi Arabia has given up on trying to grow wheat and will be 100 percent dependent on wheat imports by the year 2016.

#10 In northern China, the water table is dropping one meter every single year because of drought and over pumping.

#11 Incredibly, a new desert the size of Rhode Island is created in China every single year because of drought and over pumping.

#12 In China, 80 percent of all major rivers have become so horribly polluted that they do not support any aquatic life at all at this point.

#13 Collectively, the women of South Africa walk the equivalent of the distance to the moon and back 16 times a day just to get water.