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What is District Cooling?

District cooling means the centralized production and distribution of cooling energy. Chilled water is delivered via an underground insulated pipeline to office, industrial and residential buildings to cool the indoor air of the buildings within a district. Specially designed units in each building then use this water to lower the temperature of air passing through the building's air conditioning system.

The output of one cooling plant is enough to meet the cooling-energy demand of dozens of buildings. District cooling can be run on electricity or natural gas, and can use either regular water or seawater. Along with electricity and water, district cooling constitute a new form of energy service.

District cooling is measured in refrigeration ton which is equivalent to 12000 BTU's per hour. Refrigeration Ton is the unit measure for the amount of heat removed. Refrigeration Ton is defined as the heat absorbed by one ton of ice (2000 pounds) causing it to melt completely by the end of one day (24 hours).

District cooling systems can replace any type of air conditioning system, but primarily compete with air-cooled reciprocating chiller systems serving large buildings which consume large amounts of electricity. This air-conditioning system is subject to a difficult operating environment, including extreme heat, saline humidity and windborne sand. Over time, performance, efficiency and reliability suffer, leading to significant maintenance costs and ultimately to equipment replacement.

Empower's District Cooling system is underpinned by a skilled around-the-clock service team and a comprehensive set of emergency back-up systems that ensure complete reliability and ease of use.


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