The WAMRC main layout room is now air conditioned with two powerful evaporative air conditioning units, courtesy of a $6,600 grant from Lotterywest. They were commissioned on the 22nd January 2008 in the middle of a heatwave, and the immediate difference they have made to the club rooms is truly incredible!
Great thanks go to Mark Butler and Paul Heaney for preparing the grant application, completing all the paperwork, getting numerous quotes and arranging the actual installation. And of course, huge thanks got to Lotterywest for supporting the club financially in this way!
There was some initial concern about how the air-conditioners had been wired into the club’s main power switchboard, and whether our routine practice of the last person out turning off main power as they leave was going to interfere with the normal shutdown operation of the air-conditioning units — or whether they could be inadvertently left on. So we conducted some simple experiments and also contacted the manufacturer (Jarrahdale) to get some answers.
It turns out the air-conditioners are wired into the switched master circuit of the club — when you turn the master switch off as you leave, power is cut to the air-conditioners as well. This is a good thing as it means the air-conditioners can’t be accidentally left on!
The air-conditioners automatically drain their water (about 10–12 litres) when they lose power (in other words they require power to hold their water during normal operation), although a pressure relief valve in the system means that it can take up to a minute after power is lost before water actually begins to drain. There is nothing in the design of the air-conditioners or controllers that means turning the power off abruptly is necessarily worse than turning them off at the controller (the service guy I spoke to says that is routinely what he does when servicing them), but even so, for normal operation he does recommend turning it off at the controller first.
The air conditioners hold their water for about 5 minutes after being turned off at the controller. So he suggests as a general rule of thumb we should aim to turn them off at the controllers about 10 minutes before the last person leaves the club and the power is switched off — but if that doesn’t happen and the power is just switched off at the master switch while the air-conditioners are still on it will still be OK — the units will still drain their water even without power.
Below are some more pictures of the installation. Click on any thumbnail to view the picture.