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Reliable BPHE for sensitive research

After a public tender, the Catholic University of Leuven (KU Leuven) in Belgium awarded Cofely Axima (GDF SUEZ) parts of the contract to build a new chemical laboratory.

The project, called Nieuwbouw Hotellabo nanotechnology, Corelab 1B, houses chemistry laboratories in two buildings and offers space for teams that do research in, for example, nanotechnology and quantum physics.

The scope of the research conducted in the Corelab requires very strict and reliable standards for the control of air and energy flows in both the structure and the furnishing of the buildings. The entire system has to be vibration-free with a permitted maximum of 3 μm/s, and there needs to be a system that removes dust from the air. Cofely Axima, a global leader in systems for climate control, refrigeration and fire protection, was chosen to deal with the placement of the HVAC, sanitation and specialty gases, as well as the control system of the laboratories and the VAV controllers of air circulation.

With a focus on sustainable growth, Cofely helps companies implement energy-efficient solutions for every type of building. Thinking along those lines, Cofely decided to invest in high capacity brazed plate heat exchangers (BPHEs) from SWEP for the Corelab project, instead of plate and frame heat exchangers. Four BPHEs of different sizes and capacity ranges were supplied for dry coolers, process cool water and ice water/cool water. The largest of the SWEP range of BPHEs, the B649 offers the highest capacity in the market today. One of the project leaders at Cofely Axima, Jan de Kerf, is satisfied with the performance and size of the BPHEs. "Particularly useful for us is the compactness, both for transport and assembly. For one pump room we would never have achieved this with a gasket plate heat exchanger."