critical operational and business issues.
Customers need to operate their cooling systems at a reasonable Delta T, putting as
much heat as possible into each gallon of
water flow, to meet the system’s design
Through our conferences, workshops
and online archives, IDEA strives to help educate the consulting engineering community
on designing building cooling systems for
variable flow and to inform building operators how and why to maintain proper differential temperature. This is just one of many
issues IDEA will cover in the District Cooling
Best Practice Guide discussion at IDEA’s
upcoming District Cooling Conference in
Abu Dhabi in January 2007.
Full Value and Innovation
Steam system customers still need to
extract the full value of the heat and pressure
supplied them through the district network.
While many downtown steam systems have
long ago abandoned full condensate-return
systems, steam customers can still maximize
the value of delivered energy. They can – and
do – recover and reuse condensate for preheating on-site domestic hot water and providing makeup water to cooling towers and
for snow-melt systems in plazas and sidewalks. Some also use steam pressure differential to drive back-pressure turbines in lieu
of pressure-reducing valves.
In Seattle, for example, a large hotel is
recovering steam condensate from neighboring hotels to capture and reuse the maximum volume of pre-treated and warm water
for industrial laundry. A recent issue of
District Energy magazine covered the Seattle
hotel story to educate members on successful approaches and demonstrate to steam
customers that simple solutions can enhance
the value of steam service.
Throughout the industry, we learn of
effective innovations that are producing real
benefits in energy efficiency and enhanced
reliability. The use of river water for condenser cooling in Hartford was replicated in Tokyo
and in Paris. Lake and ocean water cooling
have been implemented at Cornell University
and in Stockholm and Toronto. Member
experiences during design, construction and
operation can provide great value to the
marketplace. At the same time, these innovations demonstrate to policy makers the
potential gains from progressive infrastructure investment.
For example, Cornell University has cut
electricity use for air conditioning and
reduced related costs by 87 percent, essentially swapping an electricity bill for capital
amortization on their investment in cooling
pipes, pumping station and heat exchangers.
Within 15 years, when the bonds are retired
for this innovative lake cooling asset, Cornell
will have dramatically lower campus energy
costs and simultaneously will have avoided
thousands of tons of carbon emissions.
Looking ahead for the next 20 years,
what should we seek to accomplish? IDEA
envisions a huge district cooling industry in
operation in the Middle East, and we will
work to provide the technical, operational
and business support to all the key players.
Universities and research campuses will continue to invest in district energy and will
need talented, experienced personnel to
manage and optimize those assets. And
finally, the urban district energy utility will
continue to provide customers with reliable
district heating and cooling service that
ensures tenant comfort and enhances the
value of customer buildings. Indeed IDEA
should continue to be the go-to resource to
support all of these activities – just as it has
for nearly 100 years.
Robert P. Thornton
Column also available at
Mark your calendars and make plans to attend
District Energy/CHP 2007
Leading the Way – Setting the Pace
Each year, the IDEA Annual Conference and Trade Show
attracts hundreds of energy professionals from around
the globe eager to exchange solutions to designing,
developing and operating highly efficient district energy
June 17-20, 2007 systems. With a special emphasis on district cooling
Hyatt Regency Scottsdale Resort and Spa at Gainey Ranch development, the 2007 Annual Conference will offer a
Scottsdale, Arizona high-quality technical program coupled with unparal-
leled peer exchange, valuable networking and unique
Hosted by insight to industry trends and opportunities.
Exhibitors! – The IDEA Annual Conference & Trade
Show has sold out of exhibit space four of the last five
years so please don’t delay in contacting Tanya Kozel
at (410) 518-6676 or email@example.com.
Unique sponsorship opportunities are also available.
Please view the complete exhibitor prospectus on
our web site at www.districtenergy.org/Calendar.