Tailem Bend, South Australia
Considered one of the most significant developments in Australian motorsport history, The Bend Motorsport Park at Tailem Bend – an hour’s drive south-east of Adelaide – is a state-of-the-art, purpose-built facility catering for all motorsport disciplines.
As well as hosting the Australian Supercar Championship and the Australian Superbike Championship, The Bend features circuits for drift, karting, rallycross, drag racing and rally/off-road racing events. Driver training and 4WD adventure is also supported.
The Bend was developed and primarily funded by the Peregrine Corporation, South Australia’s largest privately-owned company. Peregrine is probably best known for its extensive network of On The Run (OTR) convenience stores.
In 2016, Glaciem Cooling Technologies – a senior industry partner of the University of South Australia (UniSA) – approached Peregrine to explore an alternative refrigeration platform for the OTR sites. During these discussions, Peregrine identified The Bend as an ideal candidate for a commercial trial of Glaciem’s new refrigeration platform, Dew Point Carbon Dioxide-only (DP-CO2) refrigeration.
The system installed at The Bend demonstrates a significant advance in refrigeration technology, incorporating thermal energy storage with a newly developed phase change material, as well as unique CO2 systems.
“Each component, on its own, represents a significant technical advancement for the industry, but when coupled together, they are well placed to leave a measurable and long-lasting legacy” says Glaciem's managing director Julian Hudson, M.AIRAH.
The combined DP-CO2 and PCM TES refrigeration system deployed at The Bend operates entirely on natural refrigerants. CO2 is used as the primary refrigerant for the medium temperature system, which cools a heat transfer liquid, HC30.
“CO2 was selected to demonstrate the advantages of using dew point (or indirect evaporative) cooling in high ambient conditions,” says Hudson. “This is particularly salient given summer daytime temperatures in Tailem Bend regularly exceed 45°C.”
Since being commissioned in April 2018, the DP-CO2 refrigeration system at The Bend has been considered a resounding success. It breaks new ground for the performance of CO2 systems operating in warm climates.
The Bend refrigeration project won the 2018 AIRAH Award for Excellence in Refrigeration, and the 2017 Carbon Neutral Adelaide Award for Applied Innovation.
It was also the cover story of the August 2019 issue of Ecolibrium, AIRAH’s industry journal.