District Heating & Cooling Plant
The pros and cons of using a district heating and cooling plant
In today’s world with all the debates regarding the global warming and the world political versus economy issues regarding oil supply, we need to find solutions that will address all those challenges. One of the best solutions is using a steam heating system that combine also electric power.
With a high pressure steam boiler not only we can produce electricity but we can also produce heating and cooling. And of top of that steam can be produce from any kind of energy: biomass, biogas, solar, garbage, and of course all kind of fossil fuel.
For a small city, investing in a district heating and cooling plant means sustainable development. This kind of project will create not only local jobs and a better local economy but will also increase the efficiency of a global energy network… less energy loss.
Presently, the only big inconvenient of using central district steam heating system is that all north American major cities sell the 1000 lbs of steam between 7 to 10 times the price of producing your own steam. And that steam is normally produced by the waste coming out of the steam turbine that generates electricity that is already profitable in this process area.
To avoid big costs many European cities have decided to sell the steam at a non profitable or low profitable price. This allows certain industries to be more profitable by having lower energy cost and also they are seen as an industry using more green energy.
Partnership between cities and industries for a steam heating system plant
Every time an industry wants to build a new plant with the need of steam for their process, the city should offer a partnership not only to produce steam for this particular building but also to produce power, heat and cooling for all the other ones around. The same thing should apply for a major building that need steam, like a major hospital. All instances will benefit from that kind of use of steam.
What about the pollution of a central steam power plant?
When you understand the benefit of using steam (easy to transport, non emergency leaks, no chimney or vents by using a vertical flooded heat exchanger, etc.) with a central district steam power plant, you will end up with one central steam power plant to focus on. Instead of investing in energy saving or reducing CO2 projects on multiple boiler room, you invest time and money to optimize only one central steam plant.
Here are some articles and case studies on the central steam & power plant for cities
Steam Absorption Chiller Case Studies