James Cook University

Providing learning opportunities to over 19,000 students and enriching the wider academic community with a wealth of discoveries as a research-intensive university, JCU plays a major hand in the journey and lifestyle of its Townsville, Cairns and Brisbane students.  

James Cook University attained the prestigious QS 5-star rating in 2021, and is a top 300 ranked University worldwide. Its 1000m² Cairns campus is Queensland’s second ever university, making it a stable of the state’s history. 

Masterflow was commissioned by JCU to upgrade their HVAC system’s purity and operational efficiency by remedying dirt interference and excessive air supply concerning the existing condenser water circuit. 

  • Location:Douglas (QLD)
  • Industry:Education

Our Process: 

As we worked closely with the chief engineering department at James Cook University, we discovered that the condenser water unit used an open cooling tower, which is prone to dirt and dust particles entering the system, making purification especially important for systems with this configuration. 

The air/dirt separator needs to be installed on the suction line in order to act before fluids reach the pump, which is difficult to achieve without affecting the NPSHa (Net Positive Suction Head available) of the pump. This is no small concern, as interfering with NPSHa will either starve the pump of water or increase friction losses, plaguing the pump with air bubbles. Thanks to our attention to detail and experience, we were able to achieve this installation without compromising NPSHa.  

These Optivent separators use highly polished, high intensity Round Bar Magnetic Rods with magnetic performance on a plate surface of up to 10,000 Gauss, or 1T. These rods catch magnetite down to 5 micron and less out of the system, enhancing the purity of circulating fluid. 

We recommend that the installation of these magnetic rods be made directly across the main flow of the chamber, in order to ensure that 100% of magnetite particles are removed. 

If you’re after a supplier that has expertise not only in product, but in installation, get Masterflow in your corner by reaching out to us with the flow rate, pipe diameter and application in question for your air/dirt separator needs. 


Thanks to an intricately designed  and reliably installed solution, the JCU HVAC system is now far cleaner and more efficient, with a drastically reduced risk of dirt and debris breaking down mechanical seals and necessitating costly maintenance and downtime in the process. 

If you are interested in discovering the best way to achieve the same protection of your system, learn more about optivent air/dirt separators and how they can clean your fluid system, optimise efficiency by keeping your system free from air, microbubbles and dirt.   

Solutions Used