48 Hour Challenge: Newcastle Private Hospital’s Chiller Failure

When Newcastle Private Hospital experienced a chiller failure heading into the weekend, Active Air came to the rescue. From inspection to install in 48 hours, it was business as usual come Monday morning.


As the weekend was fast approaching, the chiller in Newcastle Private Hospital’s maternity wing had become unreliable after one too many failures.

With a new chiller months away and surgeries scheduled for the following week, project manager Carl Sueli knew a stand-by chiller was needed.


We worked with them over the weekend to commission a backup chiller.


After receiving the call on Friday, our Newcastle-based regional manager, Mark Fox, was on-site at the hospital to asses the situation.

The team then got to planning and organising all necessary staff and vendors.



There were plenty of obstacles we had to consider.


As with most projects, there are always obstacles.

Having worked with many hospitals in the past, we know the typical obstacles to expect, and how to work around unforeseen challenges.


First, there wasn’t enough power to support the chiller.


During the initial inspection, we determined that connecting the stand-by chiller into the hospital’s main supply was not an option, due to there not being enough power available.

This meant that a 500kVA generator had to be supplied and fuel service arranged.



We were also required to work at great heights.


With part of the install taking place on the roof, staff were required to work at heights. As all Active Air staff are certified with 11m EWP licenses, this wasn’t an issue.

A man lift was required to run chilled water hoses across the carport and adjacent roof into the plant room. A 20-tonne franna crane was also required to lift and position the chiller and generator.


Plus, we had to deal with a live carpark.


The roof is home to the doctor carpark as well as parking for patients.

This made the space we were working quite tight, as we had to be cautious of the amount of space we were taking up.

As the carpark continued to be operational, we brought in a traffic controller as a prevention measure, to ensure the safety of passers-by.



We had suppliers working through the night.


With hospital procedures taking place, the main chiller could not be turned off during the day. Meaning work had to be carried out at night.

We had our plumbers cutting in between 9PM and 3AM. After which the chiller was brought in and tested before 6AM on Monday.


In the end, we had the standby chiller up and running by Monday morning.


We provided the hospital with detailed procedures for switching over to the standby chiller as required. Leaving them with the peace of mind that the maternity wing could continue operating until their new chiller arrives.




Do you have a chiller that has been causing you problems?


Don’t wait until it fails to give us a call. Call the team today on 1800 50 50 47 to discuss a contingency plan.