DC Pro Engineering UAE, a leading authority in the field of District Energy in the world and renowned sustainability leader in the field of Green Building MEP Designs in the region, revealed that new water cooled systems installed in standalone hotels and hospitals are becoming as efficient as district cooling.
This is according to George Berbari, Chief Executive Officer of DC Pro, who made a presentation on the subject of ‘Improving power generation efficiency through employment of district cooling’ on the first day of the two-day 6th Annual Middle East District Cooling Summit being held at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Doha. He noted that if district cooling does not develop to include renewable energy such as solar or deep geothermal on one side, and conserve primary energy sources such as natural gas or petroleum, traditional district cooling systems may become obsolete.
“District cooling systems reduce power consumption as compared to traditional and predominantly used air cooled air conditioning systems by around 50 per cent,” Berbari said, as he also described some of the benefits of district cooling. “It also reduces peak power demand by 60 percent when thermal storage is utilized. “Tri-generation or Combined Cooling, Heat & Power (CCHP) with 45 per cent electricity efficiency and 87 per cent total efficiency, where exhaust and jacket heat recovery can be used with absorption chillers in series with electric chillers fed from the generators and in series with thermal storage, will provide 30 per cent reduction in primary energy sources and much more if renewables are integrated,” he added.
He also highlighted the fact that while tri-generation or distributed generation today comprise only less than two per cent of all district cooling plants, there is a fast rising trend of higher interest from governments to integrate generation efficiencies with renewables and green building. “This is meant to curb the alarming increase of strategic oil and gas wealth for internal power generation, which reached 25 per cent of total oil and gas production and has been increasing at around seven per cent annually,” Berbari said.
During his presentation, Berbari then discussed the role of an ultra-modern and ultra-efficient tri-generation project in Oman that synchronizes local produced power with 1 MW photovoltaic and with the national electric grid to save 75 per cent of primary energy as compared to traditional electric-powered district cooling fed by traditional centralized power generation. “Traditional district cooling central plant with electric chillers are the dominant ones used at this time,” Berbari explained. “With almost 25 per cent of district cooling plants utilizing thermal storage and treated sewage effluent as make up for the cooling tower, newer plants are now also required by authorities and regulations to use these technoligies.”
Aside from his presentation, Mr. Berbari was also part of the Leaders & Stakeholders Dialogue Panel on ‘The future of District Cooling with Tri-generation, Cogeneration & Integration of Renewable Energy’. The 6th Annual Middle East District Cooling Summit will end on Tuesday, 11 November 2014.