The project requirements were:
Monarto Zoo is a 1,500-hectare open-range zoo located approximately 70km’s from Adelaide’s CBD that is managed by the Royal Zoological Society of South Australia. Ensuring the health, safety and well-being of the chimpanzees was the main project requirement, specifically during colder months. This required a specialised heating solution, something that historically has been difficult to do, due to a number of technical and primate issues. Chimpanzees are very inquisitive, so to ‘chimp-proof’ the heating solution against animals that are highly mobile, intelligent and incredibly strong, requires engineering excellence and ingenuity. In undertaking this project, the goal was to also ensure even heat distribution, while preventing the chimps from harming themselves.
Solution: AIRA installed gas heaters to keep the chimpanzees comfortable in the cooler months, while also adhering to the park’s commitment to the environment.
AIRA delivered a gas heating solution that has proven to be cheaper and more reliable to run than the previous electrical systems. The AIRA unit provided was the Dravo DU12 gas heater, return air indirect fired gas, with the optional LPG and optional blower and a modulating control. The unit was purpose-built to work in the chaotic and unpredictable environment of a large open chimp enclosure. One clever example is the baffle design protecting the gas flame that still enables warm air to be effectively distributed. The Dravo gas heater series can be coupled with an energy recovery system or an evaporative cooler to create a complete energy-efficient heating, cooling and ventilation system. It comes in a range of standard and optional sizes to meet project requirements.
The result has been an improvement in animal comfort, translating into a better and consistent viewing experience for visitors. This is an essential part of the zoo’s requirements as it is a critical way to generate the funds needed for the enclosure. The AIRA Dravo DU12 solution also uses less energy and has reduced operating costs (maintenance related) than previous heating solutions in the chimpanzee enclosure, thereby exceeding the zoo’s expectations.