The architect’s rendering of the expansion of the Instituto Nacional de Cancerología (INCan) in Mexico City. Johnson Controls Building Efficiency is using its newest technology to cool the facility.

Cooling Mexico’s largest cancer hospital

Mexico’s Instituto Nacional de Cancerología (INCan) is a public health institution dedicated to the prevention, early detection, diagnosis and treatment of cancer. In alliance with the Universidad Autónoma de México (UNAM) and the Institutes of Biomedical Investigations and Physics, INCan is the largest cancer treatment and research hospital in the country, serving thousands of patients.


Johnson Controls is designing an energy-efficient air conditioning solution for a new addition at INCan, currently under construction and slated to open in 2013.


“INCan chose us because of our product quality and reliability, our project management from start to finish and our willingness to enter into a confidentiality agreement,” said Rajesh Dixit, global product manager, absorption chillers, Building Efficiency, Johnson Controls. “We won this job because we assure these things.”


Johnson Controls’ Mexico City team is currently working with the architect, general contractor and INCan to select the right equipment for the expansion. At the heart of the solution are two YORK® YWA multi-energy absorption chillers and one YORK® YMC² magnetic bearing centrifugal liquid chiller, which harness the steam INCan’s turbines already produce for energy and electricity, cool it to 44 degrees Fahrenheit and use it to air-condition the hospital.


“INCan is the first building in Mexico in which we are using our newer technology,” said Sergio A. Medina, regional sales manager, Building Efficiency, who heads up the team of eight engineers working on the project. “It works with other kinds of energy, is really energy-efficient and reduces carbon footprint in amazing proportions.”


The absorption chillers are “multi-energy” because in addition to steam, they can also harness the heat from oil, natural gas and other fuels to cool the building.


“We’re using waste heat to provide cooling,” said Rajesh. “It’s a very unique process. The beauty of it is that the refrigerant is nothing but water, the water we drink. We’re not using any chemicals or components that contribute to global warming or ozone depletion.”


Benefits of the solution include:

  • Flexibility
  • Innovation
  • High efficiency
  • Energy savings
  • Reliability
  • Sustainability
  • Noise reduction


INCan’s new expansion – and technology – will make it a very modern hospital, one that is comfortable for doctors, nurses, staff and patients. Critical areas that will be cooled include magnetic resonance, therapy, surgery, oncology and patient rooms.


“INCan told us they want to have the best hospital in the world,” said Sergio. “They said, ‘Please give the people that come here the best hospital, the best equipment, the best quality.’ It’s a job we are proud of because we are also helping people to feel better.”