District cooling is becoming increasingly popular, and the need of cooling and the expectations set for it are growing. A record in the demand for district cooling was reached in Helsinki in the hot days of last week. Storing helps in the great day-to-day fluctuations in the demand for cooling.
In addition to the cooling of business premises, hotels, shopping centres and data centres, district cooling is used in residential properties in Helsinki to an increasing extent. Extensive district cooling systems are being built in new districts, such as Jätkäsaari and Kalasatama, in connection with the construction of the conventional infrastructure.
There are now several data centres of commercial operators using district cooling in Helsinki. The data centre used by DNA will be the latest data centre to be connected to the district cooling network. Many office buildings also have their own big data centres that are cooled with district cooling.
District cooling is under constant development, and new innovations are utilised in the implementation of the increasingly ecological and extensive energy system. Energy storage is an essential part of a smart energy system, enabling production flexibility that meets the customers’ demand and needs.
During the night, underground energy storage facilities store cooling energy, which can be utilised during the day when cooling is in most demand. The first underground cooling storage facility with a capacity of 11 million litres was commissioned last year in Pasila. A new energy storage facility with a capacity of 25 million litres, twice the size of the Pasila one, will soon be completed one hundred metres beneath the Esplanade Park.
A record high demand
The district cooling system in Helsinki is the third largest in Europe, and it is growing at the most rapid pace in Europe. The 24-hour demand for district cooling was in excess of 1,000 MWh during the hot days of the past week. This record will probably be surpassed many times during this summer.
Eco-efficiency from integration of district cooling and district heating
Selecting district cooling as the property’s cooling solution is often the most effective way to reduce the property’s carbon dioxide emissions in Helsinki city centre. Helsingin Energia produces district heating and district cooling in an integrated way, enabling, e.g. utilisation of cold sea water, waste energies, and solar heat that is surplus to the property in the summer.
Eighty per cent of district cooling in Helsinki is produced with energy sources that would otherwise be unutilised, for example, with cold sea water. The waste energy from the return water of district cooling is refined for utilisation and transmitted to the district heating network to provide heat and hot tap water for homes in Helsinki. Helsingin Energia’s integrating energy solution of district cooling and district heating is an exemplary and award-winning implementation model for smart energy systems in urban areas.