Retroffitting the refrigeration system of an urban hotel

Retrofitting of a refrigeration system

Located within the urban area of Bilbao, the hotel is right in the heart of the commercial district and within walking distance of the tourist and cultural area of the city. The establishment has 150 rooms, a bar, restaurant, meeting rooms with capacity for 300 people, gym and parking. The commitment of the hotel company is to offer sustainable, consistent and efficient services to its guests, employees and society in general. Also working towards a responsible management of the business in the economic and social fields as well as the environment. The constant growth of the facilities and services offered by the establishment and the deterioration of the old metal cooling tower had made it necessary to replace the refrigeration system. The old tower offered low energy efficiency as well as being problematic to maintain.


Selecting the refrigeration equipment, this system had to meet the highly demanding safety, environmental sustainability and energy efficiency requirements of the hotel’s own quality policy.

This led to the decision of opting an evaporative refrigeration tower since it had a minimum energy consume, produced less noise, took up less space and required fewer investment in its installation. 


The technicians responsible for the installation from air conditioning systems specialist Kaener, acting on the advice of industrial cooling solutions manufacturer Torraval, decided to install an evaporative cooling system as a safe and efficient alternative.

This prompted the decision to opt for an evaporative cooling tower as it has minimal energy consumption, makes less noise, takes up less space and a lower investment for the establishment.

Evaporative cooling tower

Three premises had to be considered when replacing the old equipment:

• Implementation of a suitable technological solution.
• Tower location: in a small interior patio accessed from the roof.
• Establishment and implementation of a prevention and specific maintenance plan for the installation.

By following these criteria, the system should have along useful life, hence the choice of a tower made of PFRV (fiberglass reinforced polyester). It´s two main characteristics are its inalterability against corrosion and easy maintenance.

According to Pablo Ochoa, responsible of the Energy Savings Control area of Kaener, “the evaporative cooling tower offers clean advantages comparing with air options for example: These cooling equipments have a minimum energetic consumption, they are less noisy, take up less space and the inversion for the hotel is less ”

The evaporative cooling system is a natural process that uses water as refrigerant. These equipments constitute an efficient alternative in the field of refrigeration in industry. They use a respectful technology for the environment, require a less inversion than the need in similar solutions and they are totally safe for health with a minimum maintenance.


The chosen refrigeration system PME 2403E K19 presents these characteristics: 

  • Anticorrosion material in the towers:  PRFV (polyester reinforced with glass fiber).
  • Tower type: Induced draught. 
  • Fillers: Laminate suitable for clean and treated water  
  • Cold water gathering pools, in polyester reinforced with glass fiber with leaning background, smooth surface and round corners for cleaning ease. 
  • Drift eliminators: PP(polypropylene) of high efficiency certificate by Eurovent. 
  • Access gate of 720x420mm that makes easier the access to the interior of the tower for the cleaning and maintenance.  
  • Motor prepared for working with a frequency converter (minimum 20Hz ) connected to the fan.

The renovation of the cooling system had been performed with the hotel working, consequently the working hours had to be reduced to three days. Finally it was completed in a record time of one and a half day, since the tower design allowed to raised  the tower dismantle by pieces. Also it coped with the difficult access and the limited dimensions of the quarter where it had been installed.


Evaporative cooling towers offer clear advantages over air options in HVAC applications. For example, these refrigeration units have a minimum energy consumption, are less noisy, occupy less space and represent a lower investment for the hotel.


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