Posted on August 17, 2015

The seventh edition of the Middle East District Cooling Summit (MEDCS) – recognized as the region’s largest gathering of global experts and specialists in district cooling – is expected to tackle any potential danger of technology stagnation throughout the district cooling industry. Organised by Fleming Gulf, organisers of market-leading conferences across the GCC, MEDCS is scheduled to be held between 10 and 11 November 2015 at the luxurious Ritz Carlton Hotel in Doha, Qatar.

George Berbari (Pictured), Chief Executive Officer of DC Pro Engineering UAE and co-chair of the summit, has expressed concern that the district cooling industry continues to apply a 10 year old technology. He further revealed that the only technological advancement in district cooling is the improved efficiency provided by chiller manufacturers. “The district cooling industry faces the danger of stagnation as its technology is advancing at a much slower pace than other heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) applications,” Berbari explained. “As a result, newer and ultra-efficient HVAC systems pose a threat to district cooling in terms of better efficiency.”

He also noted that while lower efficiency air cooled chillers, air cooled ducted split and moderate efficiency VRF continue to enjoy a dominating 70% market share, they actually lead to ever increasing power consumption and global warming problems, with very little that is being done to curb their usage. In addition, other HVAC technologies such as small ultra-efficient centrifugal water cooled chiller plants with magnetic bearing and variable speed drives have possibly less power consumption than district cooling plants.

He emphasized that: “District cooling systems already offer 40% saving on power consumption as compared to air-cooled systems which is not any more sufficient. A new generation district cooling that uses tri-generation, which is the simultaneous electric power, cooling and heating generation with efficiencies exceeding 80% synchronized with renewable solar photovoltaic can even result in 75% savings in primary energy as compared to electric powered district cooling and 85% saving compared to air cooled system.”

“With tri-generation in district cooling synchronized with renewable energy already capturing the attention of intellects and being honored with awards, the district cooling industry needs this as the way forward for an industry that addresses the urgent need to resolve the issue of global warming,” Berbari said. “By utilizing renewable energy sources and using renewable bio diesel or bio gas, greater electric power savings can be achieved, which will then help to sustain our cities in the coming years.”

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Accordingly, among the key themes of the summit is ‘The Future of Renewable in the District Cooling Sector – Feasibility and Cost Implications’. This topic is to be further discussed and elaborated on during a District Cooling (DC) Stakeholders Leaders Panel discussion scheduled on the first day of the summit. Among the panelists who will be talking about ‘District Cooling, Renewable Energy & Energy Efficiency’ are H.E. Ahmad M. Bin Shafar, Chief Executive Officer, EMPOWER UAE; a Senior official from Qatar Cool; and Mr. Berbari. The moderator for this panel discussion will be Mr. Salah Nezar, Sustainability Director of Qatar Project Management.

“While the district cooling industry has indeed experienced tremendous growth in recent years, like any other industry, it is not immune from challenges,” said Deep Banerjee, Conference Head at Fleming Gulf. “This is precisely why such a platform for continuous discussion and exchanges of information among all stakeholders in the district cooling industry is crucial to its further advancement. “We at Fleming Gulf are therefore proud and privileged to have been given this unique opportunity to serve as catalysts for growth in the district cooling industry by organising MEDCS,” he added. “I am confident that through such scholarly and intellectual discussions among experts at the summit, a comprehensive solution will be arrived at for the benefit of the industry, stakeholders and end-users.”

Other key themes of the presentations and discussions at the summit include Regulation Standards; Use of Treated Sewage Water or Seawater for Cooling; Power Optimization in the Successful Implementation of Energy Efficient District Cooling Methodologies; and Focus On Sustainability and The Environment, among others. On the other hand, some of the technology highlights at the summit will be on Managing District Cooling with Innovative Metering Solutions; New Approach for Filtration in Cooling Towers; Tri-Generation Systems for District Cooling Applications; and Thermal Energy Storage (TES) & Energy Efficiency, among others.

Among the keynote speakers at summit are Dr. Yousef Mohammad Al Horr, Founding Chairman of the Gulf Organisation for Research and Development (GORD), Qatar; and Dominic McPolin, Chief Planning Officer, Central Planning Office, Ministry of Works, Bahrain.