Carrier Greece will provide cooling for the Olympic Stadium in Marousi. (Photos courtesy of, the official Web site of the Athens 2004 Olympic Games.)
Every four years, the world is drawn to televisions or newspapers for the athletics and drama of the Summer Olympics. In 2004, the focus will be on Athens, Greece, where more than 10,500 athletes from nearly 200 countries will compete together on the world stage.

At the same time, another group will be participating behind the scenes, carefully monitoring the HVAC equipment in place. If they are successful, the participants and spectators will not even notice their presence.

Carrier Greece is one of the major players helping to cool the expected 75,000 spectators during the Greek summer, where temperatures can reach over 100 degrees F. The company obtained a major role in cooling venues built for the XXVIII Olympiad, which kicked off Aug. 13 and concludes Aug. 29. The company will work to keep athletes, officials, and spectators comfortable in the athletic venues, as well as in lodging accommodations and public transportation.

Carrier Greece will also provide cooling for the Olympic Village.

Cooling Venues

The first air conditioning plant order awarded for this year's Olympic Games was for three chillers with a total cooling capacity of 3,728 kW (1,060 TR), which serve the Athens 2004 headquarters complex, home to the Athens Olympic Organizing Committee. The new headquarters, in the Athens suburb of Nea Ionia, is a cluster of three single-story and three 4-story buildings, with a total floor area of nearly 35,900 square feet.

Since that first project, Carrier Greece has continued to win orders for many more projects related to the Olympic Games, resulting in a multimillion dollar order that equates to nearly half of the building projects for the games.

"From day one, we worked closely with consultants to develop the most energy-efficient solutions for each application," said Stavros Tsavalos, managing director of Carrier Greece.

Athens 2004 President Gianna Angelopoulos-Daskalaki (right) inspects the work at the Helliniko Olympic Complex in Athens, which will host the baseball, softball, and field hockey events.
"Carrier was the only manufacturer to have a full product range operating with non-ozone depleting refrigerants - from the largest centrifugal machine to the smallest split system."

Carrier is responsible for cooling many of the venues, including the Olympic stadium in Marousi, which was home to the opening ceremonies and will be the home for the closing ceremonies, as well as the track and field events; the Olympic Hall at Galatsi, the site for table tennis and rhythmic gymnastics; the Pankritio Stadium at Heraklio, on the island of Crete, which will host soccer events; the Schinias Centre, in Marathonas, for canoe and kayak events; and the Panthessalikon Stadium at Volos, the site for preliminary soccer games.

Carrier Greece obtained contracts for several other sites and services, including the Olympic Equestrian Center in Markopoulo, which covers an area of about 225,960 square feet and includes business facilities, and a new stable for 300 horses; the new tramlink, which connects the center of Athens to the bay area and southern suburbs; and Evangelismos, the biggest hospital in Athens, which was refurbished for the games.

Carrier Greece provided the cooling for the Olympic Hall (above) at Galatsi and the Olympic Equestrian Center (below) in Markopoulo.
Carrier also won the cooling contract for the Olympic Village, which will be home to more than 16,000 athletes and team officials.

The village consists of 2,292 apartments, each with its own air conditioner supplied by four companies: Carrier, Aermec in Italy, Fyrogenis in Greece, and McQuay in Malaysia. An Alfa Laval brazed heat exchanger is an integrated part of each air conditioner.

In addition to cooling the visitors inside the venues, Carrier will also provide comfort as they travel to the events. Carrier Sutrak is the sole supplier of air conditioning units for the 150 buses that will transport athletes and spectators to the Olympic sites.

In all, Carrier has supplied 635 chillers, more than 3,600 fan coil units, 22 package units, 1,150 split systems, and 47 ducted units, which they will control from a central monitoring center near Athens. In addition, 100 service techs will provide service before and during the Olympic Games, as well as for the Paralympics following two weeks later.

Monitoring Energy Use

Carrier may have the majority of the cooling work, but it is certainly not the only HVAC manufacturer present in Greece. Echelon Corp., the creator of the LonWorks® device, will also have an active role in cooling many of the venues. LonWorks systems will be used in the baseball, softball, and field hockey venues, all located within the Helliniko Olympic Complex in Athens.

Games organizers also called upon Controline S.A., a Honeywell-authorized distributor in Greece, to monitor energy and reduce the risk of power loss during the games, a concern to officials. Compounding this concern was the July 12 blackout in Athens, the largest in more than a decade. The outage was blamed on "mismanagement" of the electricity grid, yet Greek government officials remain confident that even in the case of an outage, power will stay on at the Olympics.

According to George Michalopoulos, Controline's general manager, "When we began this project, we knew we needed a device networking platform that met our need to have an open bidding environment for equipment, easy integration of multiple products from various building subsystems, and could accommodate expansion plans that had yet to be finalized."

Echelon systems will be used in the Helliniko Olympic Complex in Athens, where baseball games will be held.
The organizers selected LonMark, whose sub-meters are networked together using Echelon's free-topology, twisted-pair signaling technology designed to efficiently monitor and manage energy in the venues. The device network monitors low- and middle-voltage distribution boards and is designed to manage changeover and isolation relays in the event of a power loss requiring backup power generation.

"Our LonWorks-based system allowed us to leverage an open, international standard to reduce energy costs and give everyone confidence that the lights will stay on throughout the games," said Michalopoulos.

In case the lights should go out, Continental Control Systems is also on board with their WattStopper product. With this, power loss is detected in real time, and power can be restored in case of an outage.

"It's exciting to have LonWorks open systems and Echelon's technology as a part of the games," said Bea Yormark, Echelon's president and COO. "The Olympics are all about international cooperation and the spirit of competition - exactly what we have worked for in the automation world."

With the companies cooperating to keep the games at a comfortable temperature, the participants should be able to focus on the athletics, exactly as the Olympic spirit intends.

Did we miss you? Please let us know what your company is doing or how it is contributing to the Olympic cause in Athens. Information can be e-mailed to Mark Skaer at

Publication date: 08/16/2004