World’s Biggest Chiller Cools Qatar Island

Stanley Consultants provided engineering design services for the new Integrated District Cooling Plant (IDCP), which serves the cooling needs for the island.  At 130,000 tons, the IDCP is the world's largest district cooling plant with at least twice the capacity of the next largest chiller plant in the Middle East.

It is possible to live in Qatar without the luxury of air conditioning but it is not comfortable.  For three months out of the year, temperatures can reach 120 degrees during the day, with nightly lows of 100.  A reliable source of air conditioning was a priority when the developers of the Pearl of Qatar, a 400-hectare manmade island located off the eastern coast of Qatar, began planning for their infrastructure needs.

The nominal 130,000 chilled water plant distributes chilled water from a central plant to individual buildings via a network of underground pipes.  It has a guaranteed capacity of 125,000 tons using 23 pair of 2,500 nominal electric motor-driven centrifugal chillers.  Each chiller unit is 26 feet long, 11 feet wide, and 14 feet tall, and weighs 2,500 tons.

A district chilled water plant of this size has an unquenchable thirst for water.  To compensate, the IDCP is one of the first district chiller plants in the region to be equipped with a desalination plant.

The project is environmentally sensitive, energy efficient, provides a sustainable source of air conditioning and provides a significant cost reduction over individual chillers.