a recent post from advanced thermal solutions, inc. (ats) and coolingzone media sponsor qpedia thermal emagazine outlines industry developments in district cooling systems, which use natural water sources such as reservoirs, lakes, and even oceans to cool public structures like office buildings.
pipes running under copenhagen to distribute water to the city.
the concept has been around for some years but has recently become a popular trend in municipal thermal management around the world, which has coincided with the understanding of how much energy consumption is dedicated to air conditioning or heating of buildings and the amount of resources are required to perform those tasks.
as the article noted, a typical district cooling system pulls cold water from its source and delivers it through underground pipes into the buildings where it is needed.
the article explained, “the buildings contain pumps and tubing systems that circulate the cold water within the living areas. air is forced past the circulating cold water to produce an air conditioned environment. the resulting warmed water in the tubes is returned to the central plant for re-chilling and recirculating.”
not surprisingly, the middle east has made a significant push with this technology, particularly in the united arab emirates (uae). new cities are growing in the uae and combating the intense heat of the region requires new thinking in terms of utilizing resources.
other locations in which district cooling has become a useful tool for air conditioning are chicago, ill. and copenhagen, denmark. thermal chicago is the largest system in the u.s. and cools more than 100 buildings. copenhagen has long used a district heating system and has been able to use it for cooling in the summer as well, particularly in heavily populated buildings or in data centers.
the article concluded, “district cooling is not a new technology, or even a new concept. centralized production and distribution of temperature control has been in commercial use since the 19th century, mainly for heating purposes.
“today, for efficiency and environmental reasons – including rising global temperatures – district cooling is seeing a renaissance by being designed into many of the smarter cities being built around the world.”
learn more about district cooling from thermal chicago in the youtube video below: