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Client Cofely Axima Réfrigération

Location Belgium

Sectors Utilities

The challenge

Create a complex test environment for chillers 

Nuclear power plants rely on chillers to maintain safe operation. So it’s paramount that any new chillers are tested thoroughly before being commissioned. Factory Acceptance Testing (FAT) is a major milestone.

Two nuclear power plants in Belgium – Doel and Tihange – were replacing 23 nuclear chillers with new ones from Axima. To get the tick of approval, Axima had to submit the chillers to FAT, including earthquake tests and rigorous heat testing. They called on us to set up and manage the testing conditions on a rental basis.


Project fact file


Chillers to test

380 V

Adjustable at up to +/- 30 per cent


On-site operation

The solution

Conditions in nuclear power plant replicated

Creating a test environment for chillers that are slated for life in a nuclear power plant is extremely complex. We devised an autonomous installation that provided full heat load to each of the Axima chillers. An Aggreko chiller unit cooled the extra heat rejected by the compressors and the system was easily regulated using a frequency-driven pump. 

To make sure the tests ran smoothly, we designed a special program within the Aggreko Control System module so we could adapt the set-up when needed. We also supplied a diesel power generator for adjustable power supply.


the aggreko difference

It's the complete package of logistics, commissioning and 24/7 support.

The impact

A rental set-up helped save serious costs

We looked after everything from designing and setting up the test environment, to 24/7 on-site service and support. Given the complexity of FAT, it made solid business sense for Axima to outsource this vital step in the process of getting the 23 chillers ready for working life in the nuclear power plant. 


“We understand the test protocols inside-out, and knew exactly what was required to put these chillers through their paces.”

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