Unique cooling carries obligations
The unique cooling effect of district cooling is generated centrally, which significantly improves energy efficiency. Cooled water is circulated through LOGSTOR pipe systems to the air conditioning units in the building, where the water cools the air flowing through them. District cooling is 5–10 times as efficient as conventional air conditioning. It also produces significantly more efficient cooling – regardless of the source of energy.
Furthermore, district cooling helps eliminate the huge load placed on the electricity grid when the demand for cooling is high. Even the cooler regions of the Northern Hemisphere are experiencing warmer summers and winters, naturally increasing the need for a temperate indoor climate. At the same time, cooling solutions in large parts of Asia demand incredible volumes of energy and are highly sensitive to power outages.
Installing an electric air conditioning unit in every building or room means poor energy efficiency, which inevitably demands peak load energy production during warm periods. Façades and the urban environment are often scarred by the numerous air conditioning units installed to generate sufficient cooling.
Today, there are three district cooling methods to choose from, depending on the source of energy used.
Freely accessible energy in the cold water from the sea, lakes or rivers can be used directly to cool the water in a remote cooling installation. The energy is therefore free of charge and highly eco-friendly, and the operating costs are modest. Helsinki and Stockholm currently operate networks based on free cooling.
All kinds of energy sources can be used today for the central cooling of water, which takes place using absorption technology and equipment. After central cooling, the district cooling is distributed to the end users. An installation of this type is in operation in Paris. The principle is also common in the Middle East, where central district heating systems are a climate-friendly statutory requirement on new builds.
In systems based on decentralised cooling, water is distributed to one or more buildings – typically via the existing district heating network. The hot water then powers absorption chillers, which produce district heating locally and distribute it to the end users. Installations of this type are typically fitted in large buildings with high cooling requirements, and where there is no existing district cooling network.