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How District Energy Works

District Energy Systems

EnwaveUSA District Energy systems enjoy the economies of scale and operational benefits of connecting to a large, diverse portfolio of customers. By aggregating the thermal requirements of dozens of different buildings, the District Energy system can employ industrial grade equipment designed to utilize and employ technologies that would otherwise simply not be economically or technically feasible for individual buildings. The availability of District Energy services reduces the capital cost of developing an office building by cutting the chiller plant capital cost from the project. 

District Energy systems provide chilled water that is used for air conditioning of building space and process cooling for data centers and switchgear. In a city, there is generally a diversity of load as different types of buildings (i.e. residential, commercial, retail, convention, etc) will use energy under different operating conditions and set peak demands at different times of the day. Serving this variety of loads allows the District Energy central plant to operate at optimal output over a longer time period. Additionally, District Energy systems incorporate thermal ice storage systems to further expand peak capacity and increase the operational flexibility and efficiency with the ability to operate equipment at optimal output.

EnwaveUSA Thermal and EnwaveUSA Solutions District Cooling are members of the International District Energy Association. On June 29, 2009 the IDEA debuted a new industry video, with the goal to help inform policy makers, community planners and potential customers about the important benefits of district energy and combined heat and power.


District Energy services simplify building operations by removing the chilled water production cycle from the building. District Energy chilled water is delivered to the building intake valves at 42 - 37 Deg F. A heat exchanger or energy transfer station circulates the cold water produced from the district cooling system across the system side of the heat exchanger. The building side water gives up its heat to the district water and is re-circulated through building air handler coils to absorb more heat from the building.


Figure 2 depicts how District Energy service connects with the building system and displaces on-site equipment for air conditioning.

For more information, contact EnwaveUSA (Houston) or EnwaveUSA (New Orleans).