HOT|COOL NO. 3/2017 - "North America"

North America already is in a strong position on district heating – especially on university campuses. This issue of Hot Cool introduces the situation in both the USA and Canada. From our side, we welcome a close cooperation with the North American district heating promoters and look forward to expanding our cooperation further. A few well-known multinational companies – originating from the US – will play an active role in keeping district heating green and keep costs down in Denmark. Facebook and Apple datacentres will open in Denmark within a few years. These can provide a lot of heating to nearby small and large cities – if Danish legislation allows. The companies, the people living in Viborg and Odense, and society as a whole can benefit from cooperation through e.g. lowering cost for the companies, creating a greener profile for all, and, not least, can play a role in creating and sustaining jobs.

N0. 3 / 2017



DBDH - direct access to district heating and cooling technology

Courtesy ZGF Architects LLP; © Robert Canfield


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HOT|COOL is published four times a year by:


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FROM POWER PLANT TO CONSUMER CONNECTION Grundfos is one of the world’s leading suppliers of solutions across the full range of pump applications. In Grundfos District Heating, we think beyond the pump. We look at the entire system – from power plant to end user – to

provide you with the most intelligent, reliable and adaptable solutions possible. This approach has made us a preferred partner for district heating companies across the globe, and we look forward to helping you as well. To learn more go to


By Jan Strømvig, Managing Director Fjernvarme Fyn and Chairman of DBDH THE COLUMN

District heating is as vibrant as ever – new developments take place, new markets open, new demands from local and national governments are in place, but still district heating continues to provide a solid, economical solution.

At the same time, this will help Facebook become more competitive and live up to their green agenda. I look forward to sharing these discussions and the status in this valuable cooperation between Odense and Facebook in the US next year. This situation shows how national framework conditions (once relevant to guide other industries) can halt the possibility to gain from long-term sustained changes in the energy supply. National framework conditions also affect the market for cooling. The technical opportunities and the demand is well understood and ready to be served. But again, national framework conditions prevent the district heating companies to roll out. District cooling may be as large a business as district heating – the demand is tremendous all over the world. Also in cold countries like Denmark, but even more in areas that enjoy a much warmer climate. Cooling will assist our industry to become more efficient and not least provide an efficient and cost effective technology covering cooling demands and also help in reaching our carbon goals. DBDH, together with other Danish organisations in the Danish district heating sector, has just launched a report on district cooling opportunities in Denmark. An English version of the report will soon be made available. Happy reading and remember to work with both national and local stakeholders to make them understand how cooperation between industry in general and our industry can play an important role in our future heat and cooling demand!

In the US, local authorities say “Sorry Donald, but we go ahead!”, so in some places national governments, no matter how strong they speak out, have little influence as local developers and authorities are in charge. In Denmark on the other hand, national government must clear some obstacles before the local authorities can roll out even more green, low-cost heating solutions. This is a clear indication of how important and how different frame conditions are, and how different players play different roles in different markets. North America already is in a strong position on district heating – especially on university campuses. This issue of Hot Cool introduces the situation in both the USA and Canada. From our side, we welcome a close cooperation with the North American district heating promoters and look forward to expanding our cooperation further. A few well-known multinational companies – originating from the US – will play an active role in keeping district heating green and keep costs down in Denmark. Facebook and Apple datacentres will open in Denmark within a few years. These can provide a lot of heating to nearby small and large cities – if Danish legislation allows. The companies, the people living in Viborg and Odense, and society as a whole can benefit from cooperation through e.g. lowering cost for the companies, creating a greener profile for all, and, not least, can play a role in creating and sustaining jobs. Until now, surplus heat from industry was taxed heavily in Denmark – for good reason, as it inspired the industry to become energy efficient and thereby more competitive. The backside of this was that surplus heat was wasted and not put to good use as the taxes ruined the economic case for district heating. Finally, it seems that Danish government will stop this waste of resources. The supreme court in Denmark has ruled against wasting heat and lifted the taxes, and now the planned Facebook datacentre in the city of Odense, where Fjernvarme Fyn operates a large DH system, can play a vital role in making our heat better, cheaper and greener. The industry in Denmark welcomes this new opportunity.


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By Robert P. Thornton, President and CEO, International District Energy Association (IDEA)

Compared to our elected officials in Washington, mayors and governors operate closer to their constituents and are often called on to mobilize resources during extreme weather events. Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg believes that the trend toward cleaner, more resilient energy will continue even without meaningful support from the federal government "through strong action by local leaders, businesses, and investors, who remain committed to fulfilling the Paris Agreement." One outcome of the United States federal government’s decision to withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement is a resurgence of efforts by cities and states to step up their investments in more energy-efficient and sustainable solutions.

and optimization of district heating networks. Singapore has developed progressive zoning policies to enable district cooling deployment. Dubai has deployed highly advanced district cooling metering, monitoring and customer integration protocols as well as clever water resource management strategies. Denmark offers decades of community energy planning and is leading the way in decarbonizing cities through sustainable district energy. The U.S. is emerging as a technology and policy innovator in district energy/CHP/microgrids to enhance economic and grid resiliency. Other signatory countries offer other complementary strengths. Collectively, sharing these industry best practices should facilitate and accelerate industry expansion in cities, communities and campuses. Through our continued involvement in the UNEP District Energy in Cities Initiative, IDEA is working across borders to assist developing economies with technical and business case resources to better evaluate and develop district cooling systems, with strong support from Dubai-based Empower Energy Solutions. Much of today’s global urbanization is occurring in warmer or subtropical climates where electricity grids are already strained to the maximum. Shifting the air-conditioning load from inefficient and costly standard air conditioners to aggregated district chilled water networks will benefit both the end-user and the regional economy. As evidenced by the NRG district cooling system in Phoenix (our host for IDEA2017), the deployment of large-scale ice thermal storage has substantially reduced peak electric demand while delivering highly reliable and cost-effective cooling for a fast-growing urban center.

IDEA believes that district energy systems will need to play a pivotal role in the energy future of cities and that our industry is well-positioned to support the objectives of local government leaders. This belief was recently on display at IDEA2017: “Sustaining Our Success,” our 108th Annual Conference and Trade Show in Scottsdale, Ariz. Our keynote speaker, Brian Deese, formerly senior advisor to President Obama and a lead negotiator for the U.S. in the UN Climate Agreement, offered an excellent address with an optimistic view for our industry, urging IDEA members to engage at the local level to promote investment. In addition, industry leaders from ten countries plus the European Union, converged to sign a global collaboration agreement. Citing the ongoing mission of the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) District Energy in Cities Initiative, representatives from Canada, China, Colombia, Denmark, European Union/Germany, Japan, Singapore, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom and the United States jointly authorized a memorandum of understanding that calls for enhanced industry collaboration and coordination on efforts to educate, inform and advocate for more favorable policies with government leaders and regulatory agencies. This should happen through sharing relevant legislation, policy initiatives and industry research that supports investment in district energy for cities, communities and campuses. Another aspect of the agreement calls for sharing our members’ considerable technical strength for more open exchange and collaboration on development of industry best practice guidelines to enhance market awareness of technical, regulatory, environmental, financial, operational and efficiency best practices. For example, when considering what members from the respective countries bring to the table, Germany offers excellent and thorough technical guidelines for the construction, operation



suggested provisions and recommendations reflected in the bill’s language. In July this year, IDEA participated in the Sustainable Energy Expo in Washington, D.C. and we have arranged a series of meetings with congressional offices to share our findings on the critical energy infrastructure inventory, totaling over 80 district energy/CHP/microgrid projects in 24 states with an aggregate value of $4.175 billion. Our plan is to make the case that energy infrastructure projects that enhance resiliency, strengthen local economies and generate good jobs merit consideration in a federal infrastructure initiative. Our challenge will be to catalyze bipartisan support and identify reasonable financing schemes. We will be reporting on our progress with the infrastructure bill and Senate energy bill S.1460 as it progresses. Please stay tuned as IDEA advances our theme for 2018 – “District Energy/CHP: Local Solution, Global Impact."

Developing new or expanding district energy infrastructure is not a simple endeavor and requires both strategic capital and effective market analysis. As cities seek to attract private capital investment, it will be important to better understand the respective roles of public sector leaders and industry technology providers. IDEA, under the leadership of Laxmi Rao, with the support of the International Energy Agency, recently released a compendium on district energy development guidance intended to assist city sustainability and economic development directors with awareness of best practices. Strategies that “de-risk” infrastructure development, utilizing both carrots and sticks, have been implemented in places like London, Copenhagen, Vancouver and Seoul, and they can be instructive to communities that are in early stages of deployment. National politics notwithstanding, all is not lost on the federal front. Recently the U.S. Senate released an 891-page energy bill that contains multiple references to combined heat and power, microgrids and renewal of energy infrastructure, including an approved authorization of an appropriation of $200 million per year for the years 2018-2027. We are a long way from resolution and passage of an energy bill, but it is encouraging to see IDEA-

For further information please contact:

IDEA Att.: Robert P. Thornton 24 Lyman Street, Suite 230 Westborough, MA 01581

+1-508-366-9339 office +1-508-254-7369 mobile

The digital (r)evolution – can the promise of all things digital deliver?

As the district heating industry continues to evolve, utilities face not only new opportunities but also new challenges that increase the complexity and number of decisions they have to make every day. This development calls for digitalisation of everything from technologies to

workflows and analytics in order to support utilities in all they do. Download our article and join us for a dive into the digital (r)evolution:

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By Niels Frederik Malskær, Commercial Advisor, Trade Council North America, Washington, D.C., USA

In the campus segment, DEA works actively with over 30 universities and colleges on developing their district energy systems. The majority of these campus partners are examining how to improve/renovate their legacy steam systems, while others are focused on extensions or new systems. The campus market segment holds potential for district energy service providers in the short and medium term, since continuous maintenance planning aims to improve facilities and lower costs as part of sustainability plans and to save O&M and energy costs.

Recent months have seen a bewildering amount of conflicting signals for the US energy markets. The expected rollback of Obama’s Clean Power Plan, the planned withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement and calls for increased coal/gas/oil extraction have caused many to wonder about the future of the energy system in the United States. However, despite high levels of uncertainty on the national political stage in the US, the US district energy market is largely insulated from national political waves. This is partly because the federal government has a limited role in state and local energy decisions. Energy planning decisions are left largely to states and cities, since the topic is highly polarized and any kind of legislation is likely to be challenged in court if it were to make it through Congress. STATUS OF US DISTRICT ENERGY District energy solutions have seen low adaptation rates in the United States compared to Europe from the 1960’s onwards, but there are still roughly 700 of them spread across the region. The vast majority of these district energy systems are steam- based, with markedly lower efficiency than low temperature hot-water systems; due to the markedly lower energy prices and different ownership structures. In recent years, as many of these systems have deteriorated beyond profitability, new solutions are being sought by various system owners, especially universities and cities. More and more owners of district energy systems (DES) in the US are considering a change from steam heating to hot water grids as a way to improve the efficiency of their systems and make way for renewable energy sources. These changes are driven by a desire for higher energy efficiency as well as by progressive climate goals of universities, colleges, and cities; where ownership structures are often favorable for the development of DES. As a result of these new sustainability priorities at state and local levels, along with other factors, the US energy technologies market is growing rapidly. As an example of this, Danish energy technology exports to the US grew 57% from 2014 (3.32 billion DKK) to 2015 (5.22 billion DKK), making it Denmark’s second largest market for Energy technologies, after Germany. District energy technologies alone represent more than 5% of the latter amount; with plenty of room for growth, as the knowledge about and demand for efficient district energy systems expand rapidly. CLEAR STRATEGIC FOCUS IS NECESSARY In order to be at the forefront of this market expansion, we at the Decentralized Energy Advisory (DEA, which is a team within the Danish Trade Council in North America) focus our activities towards campuses, selected utilities and military facilities.

Universitites from Canada and the U.S. are given a tour of the Copenhagen District Energy System by HOFOR, May 2017.

In order to disseminate knowledge about the benefits of lower temperature systems, the DEA and DBDH organises Campus Energy Accelerator Academies twice a year in Denmark. The first group of innovative institutions, each of which is in some stage of district energy planning, came to Copenhagen, Denmark in May of this year, where they gained insight into state of the art technologies and how hot water district energy systems operate on a day-to-day and year-to-year basis.


With established utilities, we focus our energy on presenting technology packages that can help optimise their systems in the short as well as long term. Some utilities are already operating hot water infrastructure and request guidance on optimisation of Delta T throughout their systems. Among other things, we suggest upgrades to Energy Transfer Stations, plant and distribution optimization, SCADA integration and water treatment. In certain cases, we are asked to give input or help connect stakeholders to companies that are experienced with integration of biomass, heat recovery and low temp hot water to replace coal/oil driven legacy steam systems.



the infrastructure. However, since very few successful examples of such structures exist in the US, and foreign case studies are deemed of limited relevance, a true shakeup in city utility structures seems unlikely to happen anytime soon. Despite these barriers, observers of the US district energy market expect that export growth rates of district energy products are to accelerate to 6% by 2020 and 15% by 2025 from Denmark to the US market alone. As more and more highly efficient district energy systems get planned or built in North America, the evidence of massive savings, both in terms of money and CO2 emissions, becomes more easily accessible to US stakeholders. Furthermore, efforts to set up workshops and seminars in the US, as well as bringing US decision makers and energy planners across the Atlantic to see active systems, have proven successful ways to disseminate knowledge. With the market for energy efficiency technologies growing consistently for years, reaching a global total of USD 231 billion in 2016 despite low energy prices, and the district heating market alone slated to exceed USD 280 billion by 2024, it seems highly likely that solutions like district energy will have an expanded market in years to come. The appetite for energy efficiency and sustainable solutions, such as District Energy, is driven by many different forces that show no sign of slacking, and seem able to resist potential federal disincentives. The DEA is convinced that modern district energy systems will remain unaffected by national political trends and will continue to take root in the US market in the years to come.

Military facilities have enormous potential in the long run, since the US military has hundreds of active facilities across the country that all have energy efficiency goals under federal regulation. However, federal military bases have long sales cycles and deal primarily with large consortiums and ESCO contracts, built around federal procurement as opposed to individual suppliers. When it comes to the military, and city governments, the DEA engages as a neutral strategic partner giving access to knowledge in Danish cities and public utilities to their American counterparts in order to facilitate new solutions and partnerships across the Atlantic.


Two of the major challenges to wider adaptation of district energy systems in the US market are: a lack of knowledge dissemination and standard US utility structures. Firstly, there is a remarkable lack of knowledge on the advances within district energy technologies that have been made in Europe over the last 30-or-so years. Steam systems without digital integration and surprising levels of heat/water losses and power costs are still being constructed and expanded. As a result of this, we are frequently told by various institutions and stakeholders that they wish they had heard of our systems (low temperature/fourth generation) before having started recent expansions or renovations. This lack of knowledge, and a general lack of applicable skills in contracting companies, leads to very high estimations of risks and civic costs when considering conversion to modern hot water systems. Secondly, despite active political goals regarding district energy in quite a few US cities (Boston, Pittsburgh and Washington, D.C. to name a few), local governments are hard pressed to carry out comprehensive energy planning. This is due in large part to the limited direct influence most US cities have over the utilities that provide them with energy services, which makes accessing consumption data and other critical data points very challenging. UNIQUE STRUCTURE OF US MARKET In many countries with high district energy adaptation, municipal/local governments play a direct role in approving new heating supply projects. Where district energy companies are formed, local authorities generally have a hands-on approach to ensuring that the offered heating product maximise benefits to the community while offering low prices. In addition to price and overall community benefit, municipalities have another pathway to reaching local emission goals or contributing to national climate targets, through a more direct engagement. The generated funds of such local utilities are necessarily cordoned off from political siphoning and kept within the company; where the resources, after covering costs, go towards optimising efficiency, maintenance and investing in

For further information please contact:

Embassy of Denmark Att.: Niels Frederik Malskær 3200 Whitehaven St. NW Washington, DC 20008

Phone: +1 (202) 234-4300

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By Jens Ole Hansen, Global Market Director, Ramboll

Modern European thin-wall pipe technology currently costs up to 50% more to implement in the USA than in Europe. This fact is holding back ambitious campuses from implementing low temperature hot water. This is unfortunate because low temperature district energy is one of the most efficient tools to reach carbon targets, increase resiliency, prepare for future campus electrification and to utilize renewable energy sources.

Ramboll and four US universities decided to try to solve this complex puzzle.

THE PROJECT AIM The team strongly believes that district energy is one of the most powerful (and overlooked) technologies to reduce the cost of energy and decrease carbon emissions. District energy is the hidden backbone of any livable low carbon campus, due to its ability to use low grade energy sources for useful energy supply. If the technology is not available for cities and campuses in the US, the development of smart grids/smart energy systems/community systems will struggle. The aimof this project is to fuel the development and identification of measures to create and improve district energy systems in campus areas, provide resilience for the consumers, contribute to environment conscience initiatives in the US and improve long term metropolitan quality of life and overall global health. The short-term measurable target for the project is to find ways to reduce the implementation cost of hot water systems by up to 25%. In the long run, we hope that our findings will impact the feasibility of downtown city projects as well, although cities are not addressed directly in this project. THE IDENTIFIED CHALLENGES Reaching the benchmark cost numbers of Europe is not easy and there is no quick fix. If there were, it would have been done years ago. The team has selected to work on these four challenges: • Institutional: Today, modern hot water networks should be built according to the European standard in the USA (because US standards are not hot water district heating specific and therefore miss out on efficiency). • Technical: Marrying European solutions with American traditions. We aim to answer the most pressing technical question of how to tie in low temperature hot water with US HVAC systems. • Business: Work on the risk sharing system and procurement system. We aim to develop business models which mitigate the risk for the owner, investor and contractor. • Sustainability: Document the potential carbon emission impact of hot water systems in the USA through modernized hot water district heating for campuses.

BACKGROUND Ramboll has worked and works on a number of steam-to-hot water network conversions in the USA and Canada. Working with cost estimators, consultants, manufactures and contractors it has become clear that the cost of putting pipes in the ground is much higher compared to our benchmark numbers from Europe… and we have found no quick fixes. Ramboll therefore decided to bring four interested universities together to try to identify and solve some of the challenges. The Ramboll Foundation decided to co-fund the project as the main contributor with Ramboll Energy and the universities providing expertise and valuable time to address the challenges. THE FOUR CAMPUSES The team was set-up to have a wide range of knowledge, but also to represent different stages of development and solutions regarding climate change and specifically district energy. The four universities are: • Dartmouth College, NH: Dartmouth College is working on their future energy supply configuration. A campus wide steam-to-hot-water conversion is part of their master plan. Dartmouth College is leading the liveable campus project. • University of Bridgeport, CT: The University of Bridgeport only has a small hot water system, but the fuel-cell driven system has capacity for expansion. • Massachusets Institute of Technology, MA: MIT has already converted a small part of the campus to hot water and is investigating further conversions. However, the complexity of putting pipes in the ground in a condense city like Cambridge is a challenge. • University of Rochester, NY: UR has already converted most of their campus. UR hands-on experience and knowledge is valuable to this project as a result. All universities will include students in the project. This will hopefully increase the awareness of district energy in the academic parts of the universities.

In addition, DTUDenmark is providing inspirational presentations at selected workshops.



CHALLENGE #2 BUSINESS MODEL AND RISK SHARING PRACTICES The business model for getting the pipes in the ground also influences the final costs. The preferred method in the US seems to be either the EPC model or the Design-Build model. In both cases, the building owner, the campuses, put the entire risk of the project on the contractor. Since thin-wall hot water is still new in the US (most places), the contractor will assign all risk to the price up-front. Additionally, with limited practical experience the contractor is likely to also overshoot the actual risk. The result is a much more expensive project than we would see in Europe. In Europe, both the owner and the contractor have years of experience and the risk can be priced precisely. The team will look at other ways to contract the project, taking the recent experience of both the owner and the contractor into account. The investigation will involve: • Performance design vs detailed design • EPC vs Design and Build • Owner pre-purchase • Design reviews • Financing models including export guaranties • Quality control during construction

Let’s take a look at just a few of the challenges.


Ramboll has compared the American ASME standard and the European standard, and it is easy to document that building according to the European standard is more cost effective than the American standard. This is mainly due to the fact that the European standard is constantly updated and tweaked for higher efficiencies while the US standard is not hot water district energy specific and is primarily for steam networks. Having said that, it is important to take full advantage of the European design code. Ramboll has investigated several US designs completed, based on the European standard that doesn’t take full advantage of the recent code. We have examples of campuses purchasing European pipes but design them based on American standard. One classic wasted opportunity is too many bends compared to what is really needed and even called for in the European design code. Another one is the lack of utilizing the flexibility in the thin-wall pipe. If you design, construct and supervise based on the European code you will have a life span of 50 years. See figure 1 for a comparison between the codes.

See an example of a contracting model in figure 2.


North American standards Ontario Regulation 220, CSA B51, ASME B31.1, etc.

EN 13941 Design and installation of pre- insulated bonded pipe systems for district heating



X-ray not required

X-ray not required on 10% of welds

Performance specifications

Detail design specifications

Alignment to be within 2 mm (approximately 0.079 inch)

Alignment to be within 1 mm (approximately 0.04 inch)

Pre purchase

Pre purchase

Hydrostatic pressure test to be 1.5 times the design pressure, held for 10 minutes, then reduced to design for leak test

Pressure test is not required, but weld leak tightness test of all welds is required

EPC Contractor

General Contractor

Recommended for known technology

Recommended for new technology

Welding a thin-wall pipe requires more attention as the margin for error is smaller (see the comparison in the table). However it has been proven that with proper training and supervision this is indeed manageable for any contractor. A final example is how to clean the pipes after construction. The preferred method in the US is hydro flushing. In Europe, the much cheaper soft-foam-ball method is often applied.

CONCLUSION We really hope to obtain a clearer picture of what is keeping the prices in the US higher than in Europe. More importantly, we hope to have some ideas to solve these challenges in order to facilitate the realization of more hot water district energy projects. The project will run for one year. All results will be presented at IDEAs Campus Energy conference in Baltimore March 2018. The conclusions will also be publicly available at Ramboll's homepage.

For further information please contact:

Ramboll Att.: Jens Ole Hansen Global Market Director

Phone: +45 5161 8591

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By Joseph Stagner, Executive Director- Sustainability & Energy Management, Stanford University

In March 2015, Stanford’s new combined heating & cooling (CHC) district energy system known as the Stanford Energy System Innovations (SESI) began operation. Over its first two years, SESI has exceeded expectations, operating slightly more efficiently, ten percent cheaper, and with greater greenhouse gas reductions and water savings than planned. Stanford is also investigating several enhancements that could make SESI even better, inching ever closer to a fully sustainable district energy system.

SESI ENHANCEMENTS NOW UNDER INVESTIGATION Even though SESI is fully operational, exceeding expectations, and has allowed Stanford to exceed state, national, and international goals for greenhouse gas reduction by several decades, the university is not stopping there. Stanford has made significant progress, investigating several potential enhancements to the system that hold great promise for further improving efficiency and sustainability while reducing cost. THERMAL EXCHANGE WITH CAMPUS WATER SYSTEMS The centerpiece of SESI is the electrification of building heating and cooling though district-wide heat recovery from its own cooling system, coupled with a renewable electricity supply. However, since this combined heating & cooling process only covers about 75% of its thermal loads, Stanford investigated ground source heat exchange to meet the balance of its heating and cooling loads and advance the system to full sustainability.

BACKGROUND In 2007, Stanford University began a journey to improve the sustainability of campus operations, including the district energy system that supports it. An in-depth analysis of how the university was using energy led to the transformation of its district energy system from one based on natural gas-fired CHP with steam distribution, to one featuring heat recovery and hot water distribution, both hot and cold thermal energy storage, and advanced control of system operation. After the discovery and planning phases that occurred between 2008 and 2011, the physical transformation took only two and a half years with construction occurring between October 2012 and March 2015. The new system, SESI, has reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 68%, reduced water use by 18%, and trimmed cost by 20% while opening a path to full sustainability. SESI has received numerous awards including being named the Best of the Best engineering project in the United States for 2015 and Best Global Green Project for 2016 by Engineering News Record.



Following on the bold innovation of Ball State University to install a district-wide ground source heat exchange system for its campus in Indiana, Stanford installed and tested a similar closed loop geothermal well on its campus to determine the feasibility of adding GSHE (ground source heat exchange) to SESI. The test well proved successful, however engineers determined that an open-source GSHE system would be a better fit for SESI, given the pattern of thermal loads remaining to be served after the primary heat recovery process. The university had such a system designed, and planned to consider its installation in 2017 after SESI was successfully installed and operational for at least one year, in order to confirm system design and operational characteristics.



Furthermore, to reduce evapotranspiration loss and to keep the recreation fields and landscape open for use during the day, most of the irrigation flow currently occurs overnight, which is also the best time to perform heat rejection from the district energy system in order to minimize grid electricity peak demand and electricity costs. Campus irrigation also occurs primarily in summer when the university has excess waste heat to reject, making the potential of using the campus irrigation system for heat rejection very promising. If successful, this would reduce existing evaporative cooling tower use under SESI by 25% to 40%with corresponding water savings and system heat rejection capacity increase. To determine if this is possible, it is necessary to understand the effects to campus landscape vegetation, if any, of increasing irrigation water temperatures from the 60°F range to the 80°F range. Anecdotally, it is believed that this would not be a problem as many landscape irrigation systems deliver water at or above 80°F across the world without negative impacts. However, initial research into the effects of water temperature on landscape irrigation reveal surprisingly little knowledge about this subject. Therefore, the university is developing plans to construct a landscape test plot next to its Central Energy Facility to test these impacts under scientific control. If results are acceptable, work will continue to plan and implement a system for rejecting waste heat from the district energy system to the campus irrigation system.

However, as GSHEwas considered in 2016, andwith their thinking about energy supply now trained via the heat recovery project to first consider the use of existing resources and processes where possible, Stanford engineers decided to investigate the use of the existing campus water and wastewater systems for thermal exchange before installing a new GSHE system. University academia are investigating thermal exchange with the campus wastewater system via Stanford’s Codiga Resource Recovery Center, and campus utilities engineers are investigating thermal exchange with the separate campus domestic (drinking) water and non-potable landscape irrigation water systems. HEAT REJECTION TO THE IRRIGATION SYSTEM The advantages of using the campus irrigation system for heat rejection include greatly reduced water use; switching the water used for heat rejection from high quality drinking supplies to non-potable irrigation sources; and gaining free ‘cooling tower’ capacity. Initial data indicates that the campus' non-potable irrigation system (known as the LakeWater system) averages flows of about 1,500 gallons per minute in summer and that the temperature of the water in the system ranges between 60°F and 70°F. Rejecting 20°F into the irrigation water flow would provide 1,500 to 3,000 tons of cooling capacity, depending on the rate of irrigation flow and heat rejection used.

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HEAT EXTRACTION FROM THE IRRIGATION SYSTEM Just as Stanford’s irrigation water system appears suitable for heat rejection in the summer, it may be suitable for heat extraction in the winter when the district energy system does not have enough heat to meet campus demands. Most of the water the university uses for summer irrigation is collected from a large creek on the campus during high flow events in the winter rainy season. This water is pumped from the creek to a large open-air man-made reservoir on the campus where it is stored for summer use. The quantity of this water flow is of course similar to the summer irrigation flow, and the water temperature ranges from 50°F to 60°F. This temperature range is a good match for the large heat pumps SESI uses for heat recovery, most of which occurs in the spring, summer, and fall seasons, leaving high heat pump availability in winter for extracting heat from winter irrigation water collection flows. Furthermore, the same heat exchanger, which would be used for heat injection to the irrigation flows out of the reservoir in summer, could be used for heat extraction from the irrigation flows in to the reservoir in winter. Reducing the temperature of the irrigation water collected in winter from 60°F down to about 42°F may also help reduce algae and other undesirable biological growth in the reservoir and improve campus irrigation water quality.

Courtesy ZGF Architects LLP; © Robert Canfield

SUMMARY SESI achieves significant increases in energy efficiency, cost reduction, greenhouse gas reduction, and water conservation for the Stanford district energy system through electrification of building heating and cooling functions via heat recovery. Hot and cold thermal energy storage, a patented advanced model predictive control energy management system, and new large-scale on- and off-site renewable electricity generation are also key features of what the United Nations refers to as a ‘4th Generation’ district energy system that opens a path to a fully sustainable building energy supply system. While SESI has propelled Stanford decades ahead in the important race to sustainability, there are still enhancements which could further reduce cost, GHG, and water use to complete the university’s transition to full sustainability. These include thermal exchange with campus water and wastewater systems and ground source heat exchange, electrification of campus transportation and emergency power fleets, and moving the last third of its electricity supply to renewable sources. Work at the university is underway to develop sound business options for these remaining steps to sustainability.

Courtesy ZGF Architects LLP; © Robert Canfield


Campus drinking water supply originates as rainfall and snow melt runoff from the Sierra Nevada Mountains several hundred miles east of the university. Water temperatures arriving on campus from the system are in the 50°F to 60°F range and flows occur all year round. Just as with irrigation water flows these flows appear highly suitable for heat extraction and rejection from the district energy system. However, potential impacts to public health, research, and other university activities must be carefully considered to determine how much, if any, thermal exchange with this system might be feasible. Campus utility and water quality engineers and scientists are now reviewing the constituents of concern in the drinking water supply and the acceptable temperature ranges for each to advance this option. Notwithstanding the technical and regulatory feasibility of thermal exchange with the drinking water system, the human perception and concern of doing so must also be addressed. For all these reasons, the university’s current first focus is on thermal exchange with the non-potable irrigation water system, however use of the drinking water system for this will also be fully explored.

For further information please contact:

Stanford University Sustainability and Energy Management Executive Office Att.: Joseph Stagner Stanford California 94305, USA

Phone: (650) 721-1888



By Jakob Erik Schmidt, Senior Advisor, Trade Council North America, Toronto, Canada

Provincial differences in the systems show green field, and new developments are taking place in British Columbia where 2/3rds are built after the year 2000. In Ontario, the picture is opposite, with 2/3rds of the infrastructure from 1980 or earlier, and this is where the investment in maintenance is expected to be largest. Half of the existing systems plan to expand their distribution and end-users in the near future. The outlook for the different segments varies from province to province, depending on how the district energy sector is regulated. For British Columbia, the district energy market is regulated and primarily driven through municipally owned and privately run operations in and around the Vancouver area. Green field developments here are taking off with considerable speed. Looking at the publicly owned systems, the federal systems by the Canadian Government and the Canadian Military represent some of the biggest investments, converting from steam to hot water and new hot water systems in Ottawa and Halifax. The Danish District Energy Advisory sees increasing interest in operation of hot water systems, optimizing delta-T in distribution systems, and a broader energy efficiency issues from a range of actors in the Canadian market. Challenges in the market have to do with securing finance in the what is typical Public-Private-Partnerships or major consortia-run projects, ensuring optimal operations and competitiveness and the vast distances in Canada. If you want a presence, you need to establish yourselves close to the projects you serve.

Two years since taking office and promising the world that Canada is back, during the Paris negotiations, the Trudeau government has aligned the Canadian provinces on climate issues. Trudeau’s government has led the provinces to implement carbon tax or other measures by no later than January 2018. The federal government got an agreement with the last province a few months ago. The Canadian provinces are crucial in the implementation of the federal policies and Trudeau’s continued success on the climate change agenda. At the moment, Canadian Federal policies, provincial goals and cities local policies are very well aligned – an important step in changing the energy landscape. District energy systems in Canada are a small piece of the energy puzzle, competing with cheap energy sources, such as natural gas, nuclear power and oil. District energy utilities across the country are expanding this new market with each customer a hard-won connection. Looking at the existing district energy landscape, Canada has approximately 180 existing systems predominantly based in the provinces of British Columbia and Ontario, and fewer in Nova Scotia and Alberta. Recent surveys show ownership as 31 % institutional owned (academia, healthcare or institutional body), 20 % municipally owned and 20 % privately held. The systems provide amix of steam, hot water and cooling to their customers. The majority of the systems in hospitals and campuses are steam-based, while private utilities’ new systems are turning towards hot water based systems.

For further information please contact:


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Ottawa cityscape showing the Cliff Street Central Heating and Cooling Plant (foreground, with chimney) that serves over 50 buildings, including the Supreme Court of Canada Building and Parliament Buildings (left).

By Tomasz Smetny-Sowa, Senior Director, Energy Services Acquisition Program, Public Services and Procurement Canada, Government of Canada

The challenge of implementing a low temperature hot water system (LTHW) solution for existing buildings is significant. Heating plants and distribution systems need to be changed, and more significantly, the steam systems in existing buildings need to be converted. Now consider the limitations inherent when working on heritage buildings, each with their own special protection, and you have the challenge that is being faced by the Government of Canada.

HISTORY During the First World War, a fire destroyed most of Canada’s main Parliament Building. The reconstruction incorporated a district energy system that would grow across the National Capital Region and become one of the largest in the country. After a century of expansion, this district energy system is due for major upgrades. At the same time, it offers an opportunity to contribute to meeting the Government of Canada's environmental commitments and to lead by example by greening its own operations. This includes smart and sustainable buildings that use less energy and opens the way to using renewable energy sources.

The district energy system that provides heating and cooling to Canada’s Parliament Buildings services over 80 government and private buildings across the capital through five central heating and cooling plants. The Energy Services Acquisition Program (ESAP) will modernize this system by implementing newer, more efficient technologies, which will build a bridge to expansion of the network and use of carbon neutral energy sources. ESAP will convert the heating system from steam and high temperature hot water to low temperature hot water (LTHW), switch the cooling system from steam-driven to electric chillers and implement the Smart Buildings data analysis project to pinpoint opportunities for efficiencies within individual buildings. Overall, greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions will be reduced by an estimated 63% as compared to our 2005 baseline and it will save $750 million over the next 40 years.



The Cliff Plant, near the Parliament Buildings, is the most central and visible plant on the network and the plan is for it to be designed as an architectural landmark, a community attraction and a centre for information sharing and education on energy efficiency and sustainability. A number of possible implementation strategies were evaluated, including a Crown Design-Bid-Build and ownership and operation of the systems as a public utility. Recognizing that the government would benefit from access to private sector experience, financing and risk assumption, the P3 option was chosen. The challenge now, is to explore how the P3 contract can be adapted to ensure that government objectives will be realized. A key feature of the P3 contract is risk management and deciding how to assign risks. Converting the buildings from steam to LTHW will be delivered by government through Crown Design- Bid-Build contracts, given the high risk premium that would otherwise be imposed by a private partner. The modernization will be delivered by the private partner through a single contract to Design-Build-Finance-Operate- Maintain the five plants and their associated distribution systems. The design and build stages of the modernization will be completed within the first five years of the contract. The financing of the construction stage will be for a seven year term. The operation and maintenance stage for the plants and distribution systems will begin during construction and continue for the following 30 years. There are two other important components to ESAP. Smart Buildings and Plants will be done through a Memorandum of Understanding with Canada’s National Research Council. Building Conversion will be done through several Design-Bid- Build contracts. Biomass pilot projects will be done through a Memorandum of Understanding with the National Research Council and another government department, Natural Resources Canada. FUTURE OPPORTUNITIES Consultations with local municipalities and industry confirm that local wood wastes, industrial waste heat, energy from waste plants and other options could reduce GHG emissions. The remaining emissions would be from peaking boilers using natural gas and GHG emissions associated with the provincial electricity supply. To reduce emissions further ESAP can look at using either “green” gas (methane from landfill sites or anaerobic digesters brokered through the natural gas distribution system) or at purchasing carbon neutral electricity.

The first stage runs from now until 2025 and during this time new carbon neutral fuels will be tested through pilot projects and feasibility studies to prepare for deeper greening in the future. The vision for the second stage is to reduce GHG emissions even more by switching from natural gas to carbon neutral fuels and gradually increasing the number of government and private buildings on the network. Converting the base load to carbon neutral fuels would reduce emissions by an additional 28% per year and expanding the network could triple the overall reduction. SAP will be delivered through a Public-Private Partnership (P3) to design, build and finance the modernization and then operate and maintain the new network for 30 years.

Reductions of GHG emissions by each stage and component of ESAP. The first stage will implement newer technology (top three sections) to deliver a reduction of over 60% by 2025. This opens the way for larger reductions opportunities through use of carbon neutral fuels and expansion of the network.

WHERE WE ARE GOING Consultations in Canada, the USA and Europe and feasibility studies confirmed that the global trend is to switch to LTHW. They found that the overall efficiency of some of the heating systems was as low as 50% and that conversion to LTHW lead to efficiencies of over 80%. ESAP is looking to operate at a peak supply temperature of no more than 95°C at first, with the goal of progressively lowering the peak supply temperature to 70°C. A low temperature building standard is in place so that all new buildings or buildings with major renovations will be able to operate using 70°C supply temperatures.

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