New soft drink factory for Wimmers


Wimmers Soft Drink Factory


Corooy Queensland

Mechanical Engineers

Ashburner Francis

Building Overview

New soft drink bottling facility with administration and storage

Project Description

Wimmers Soft Drinks are a Queensland institution. Established in 1910, Wimmers is famous for its range of high quality and premium beverages.

With new owners came a renewal of the business and facilities, the cornerstone of which is this state-of-the-art bottling facility located in the historic Sunshine Coast hinterland town of Cooroy. With modern bottling equipment and expanded manufacturing space this new facility for Wimmers provides for a positive future with significant growth opportunities.

Wimmers owners sort to achieve positive social and environmental outcomes for their new facility. Critical to this was maintaining the Wimmers presence within the Corooy township where it had been for over 100 years.

Future Focused

Nestled within the rolling hills of the Sunshine Coast hinterland, the new Wimmers facility rests easily within this ecological habitat. Designed to have as little impact on the environment as possible, this facility is a statement to what can be achieved with an integrated sustainability approach.

With a view to creating a liveable building with the highest levels of sustainable design, the owners of Wimmers integrated into the building fabric solutions that are both commercially and environmentally astute. These initiatives included:

  1. Rain water harvesting
  2. Black water treatment
  3. PV solar
  4. Geothermal air conditioning

Geothermal Air Conditioning

Alinta Energy Geothermal was selected to install its proprietary GeoAir air conditioning system for the administration offices and syrup rooms. A 102kW system was required to cool and heat the required spaces within the building.

Each zone within the building is controlled by individual wall-mounted thermostats. This configuration enables the optimal use of the installed system as they only operate when the spaces are occupied.

The GeoAir system was also installed to cool the temperature sensitive syrup storage room.Waste heat from the GeoAir system provides pre heating of water for the bottle wash plant.

Installation Overview

Geothermal Loops installed below nature strip

1. Geothermal Loops

Installation of the geothermal loops commenced in November 2014. The GeoAir units were installed external to the building and below a future nature area adjacent to the building. The head contractor provisioned for access of the geothermal loops into the building for connection to the GeoAir heat pumps.

Geothermal loops are installed using specialist drilling equipment and qualified technicians. Grouted in place using highly conductive geothermal grout, the loops require no maintenance or access. All loops are at 8m separations and installed below the nature strip adjacent to the building.

Geothermal loops rely on the thermal conductivity and diffusivity of the earth to both reject and collect heat for the operation of the system. When operating in cooling mode, a hot refrigerant gas is circulated through the installed loops where the heat is transferred to the surrounding sub surface. The refrigerant condenses and is returned to the surface as a liquid and equal to the ground temperature. With constant sub surface temperatures, the GeoAir system will provide high efficiencies regardless of ambient air temperatures.

2. Horizontal Line Runs

Geothermal loops are connected to plant location by way of excavated trenches at nominally one meter below surface levels. Coordination with all other in ground services was required prior to commencement to prevent conflict. All lines are installed within protective insulation and back-filled with sand and warning tape.


3. Geothermal Heat Pumps

Quiet and compact, GeoAir heat pumps require no ventilation and can be integrated into any building design. Wimmers chose to install heat pumps at an elevated position within the warehouse area. This positioning reduced the need for external plant platforms and associated works.

Geothermal heat pumps are connected to geothermal loop field by refrigerant lines insulated with 20mm closed cell insulation.

4. Controls

Standard thermostatic controls are used within the building space. More complex BMS-integrated controls are available where greater control is required.

5. Heat Recovery

When in operation, waste heat from the geothermal heat pumps is used to produce waste heat for bottle wash within the factory. With a boiler in place for primary heating, the geothermal system provides pre heat of water reducing the load and energy consumption of the boiler.

System Efficiencies

The GeoAir system will operate at consistent performance regardless of ambient air temperatures. This delivers energy saving against a conventional air conditioning system.

When combined with water pre heat, this facility will achieve significant operational energy cost savings over its life.

Installation Summary

Installation Benefits

  1. Significantly reduced running costs of air conditioning plant.
  2. No external plant removed need for costs associated with roof top plant.
  3. GeoAir heat pumps are compact and quiet and were installed internally for ease of access.
  4. Less moving parts reduces ongoing servicing costs.
  5. Waste heat from the GeoAir system provides pre heating for the bottle washing plant reducing consumption by gas boiler.

Download the Wimmers Case Study

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