Equipped to handle pressure

The cooling solution for one of Singapore’s latest iconic buildings – the Marina Bay Sands Hotel – called for one of the highest-pressure systems ever installed in the country.

DATE 2023-11-28 AUTHOR Åsa Lovell

The Marina Bay Sands Hotel in Singapore is no ordinary hotel. Besides being the largest hotel ever built in Singapore, with more than 2,500 rooms and suites, it is an architectural masterpiece, inspired by a deck of cards.

Three unique sloping towers hold a gigantic cantilever that is longer than the Eiffel Tower laid flat. The gigantic platform is home to the Sands Sky Park, comprising landscaped gardens with 250 trees and 650 plants, as well as exclusive restaurants and a public observation deck that can host hundreds of people. Moreover, on top of the platform hotel guests have the luxury of swimming in a 150-metre-long infinity pool, 200 metres above ground and with a stunning view over the Singapore skyline and the South China Sea, also called Marina Bay.

The hotel also includes a casino, theatres and the new ArtScience Museum.

Through Voltas Limited, a subsidiary of Tata Group, Alfa Laval has delivered heat exchangers and other equipment for the cooling solution in the upper and lower hotel towers, the casino and theatres, the museum and the MICE (meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions) facilities. Alfa Laval has also provided a heat-recovery system for heating the water in the restaurant kitchen and the infinity pool.

In total, Alfa Laval delivered heat-exchange capacity of 115,600 kilowatts. “It has been impeccably installed and tested to the stringent conditions,” says Kaustubh Tambe, Project Manager at Voltas Limited.

Tambe explains that it was Alfa Laval’s long experience in heat exchanger technology, coupled with its local presence in Singapore and its large installed base that led Voltas to choose Alfa Laval’s solutions.

A challenge was the very tight time schedule of delivery and installation, following a delay in the construction of the building. “Alfa Laval helped us from day one and acted as a partner in the complete, and complex, project,” says Tambe. “Alfa Laval helped during testing and commissioning with different practical things, such as verifying the actual parameters with software simulations, and it helped with the physical installation when the first seven units arrived at the hotel. It was a challenge to get all the units in place.”

Another major challenge was to get the pressure right for the cooling solution, as the district-cooling provider for the hotel requested a single-loop cooling system to minimize the area needed for cooling equipment. This meant the design pressure had to be 25 bars. “This is one of the highest pressure systems in use in Singapore,” says SiewKien Chua, Equipment Division Manager at Alfa Laval in Singapore. “Before delivery the customer came to our factory to see for themselves that it really worked.” It did, and still does. At a prestigious hotel like the Marina Sands Bay there is no room for failure.