District Energy (DE)
District Energy (DE)
refers to generating any combination of electricity, heating, or cooling at a central
energy plant and then distributing that energy to a network of nearby buildings. Individual buildings
connected to the network avoid the need to install and maintain their own boilers, furnaces, chillers,
or air conditioners, thus saving on capital and maintenance costs. Many District Energy installations
use combined heat and power (CHP), recycling the thermal energy left over from electricity generation
for heating or cooling. District Energy is an efficient, reliable, and cost-effective option for any
cluster or network of buildings. District Energy (DE) is the general term which Includes both district
heating and district cooling systems. These two types of service - or building utilities- are pipe-based
infrastructures supplying heating or cooling waters to several buildings to provide human comfort.
In both cases, the infrastructure consists of a dual pipe network, connecting the energy pumping station
with each customer connected into the system. Not all district energy systems include electricity
generation - some are just heating, just cooling, or a combination of heating and cooling. But quite
frequently, district energy systems do include an electricity component - especially all newer systems.
The efficiency of the entire combined system yields very attractive electricity costs for all buildings
connected to the system.
Polyethylene PE4170 Pipe and Fitting Systems are the non-corroding, welded (fused), no-leak pipe
material of choice over rustable steel, costly stainless steels, alloys and other lower temperature rated thermoplastics.
District Heating (DH)
systems, pump hot water through the Supply pipe-line to energy consumers, pass
through the consumers' heating systems where the water releases its warm energy to the buildings and
Returns back to the energy station for reheating. Today's systems typically use temperatures around
75 °C for Supply and about 35 °C upon Return. Lower temperature systems, may even be used. In such systems,
Supply and Return temperatures may be as low as 60/30 °C or even 55/25 °C.
District Cooling (DC)
systems chill the Supply water to below ambient temperature and then Pumps it
to the consumer where the excess heat from the building's air conditioning system is transferred into
the cold DC water. The warmed water is returned to the energy plant for re-cooling in different types
of chillers. The removed heat is ejected into the outside ambient surroundings or recycled for use in
a district heating system. The Supply temperature of today's DC systems may be about 10 °C and the
Return temperatures about 20 °C.
Combined Heat & Power, also known as CHP
- or Cogeneration - provides electrical energy and thermal
energy (heat) from a single fuel source. CHP captures excess energy that would normally be lost in
electrical power generation, and uses it to provide both heating and cooling, making CHP up to 75% to 90%
thermally efficient for using fuels, compared to 35% thermal efficiency when generating electrical power alone.