Copenhagen's seawater cooling delivers energy and carbon savings

With summer temperatures that rarely exceed the mid-20s Celsius, Copenhagen is not an obvious research and development hub for air-conditioning solutions.

Nonetheless, Copenhagen has developed an innovative district cooling system that takes advantage of free cooling provided by seawater drawn from the city’s harbor. Two years ago, Copenhagen Energy opened the city’s first district cooling plant, a 10-megawatt (MW) facility located on the site of a retired power plant in the historic inner city.

The new cooling network complements the city’s existing district heating system, the world’s largest, which covers 98% of Copenhagen.
The City of Copenhagen expects that district cooling will prevent the release of 14,000 tons of CO2 annually by reducing carbon emissions by 67% and electricity consumption by 80% compared to conventional cooling.

The City of Copenhagen expects cooling demands to increase in the coming decades. Copenhagen Energy therefore envisions the need for as many as seven district cooling zones. The city’s second cooling plant, located near the central train station, is scheduled to come online in May 2013.

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