The CSIRO Geothermal Project investigated the possibility of using geothermal resources beneath the Australian Resources Research Centre (ARRC) site for direct use applications – heating and cooling. One component of this project involved using a ground water cooling system to cool the Pawsey Centre Supercomputer- a purpose-built centre housing supercomputing facilities and expertise to support SKA (Square Kilometre Array) research and other high-end science. This would be the first time a ground water cooling system had been used on this scale in metropolitan Australia.
The process involved extracting waste heat from the facility and transferring it into the Mullaloo aquifer beneath the ARRC site, thereby using groundwater for heat rejection purposes, rather than conventional cooling towers.
Leicon Notley was engaged by CSIRO to complete infrastructure and services work associated with the groundwater cooling project.
The scope involved pumping the cold water from two production bores to the Pawsey Centre through the heat-exchanger to cool down the super computer and inject the warm water back to the shallow aquifer. Furthermore the additional injection bores injected cool water into the aquifer to retard the potential flow of heated groundwater from the warm injection bores towards the cool production bores.