Our energy system is changing. In response to a rising need for adjusting the electricity consumption to the electricity production, heat pumps with large thermal storages are gaining ground. Heat pumps are in many ways a beneficial solution as they are able to produce both cooling and heating. Today, heat pumps are typically installed in individual buildings as an alternative to district heating. However, as the use of individual heat pumps is rising on behalf of district heating, the society is missing out on both environmental and economic benefits. So how can a utility company take advantage of heat pumps?
This was the question that Gentofte municipality asked themselves in 2013. The utility company is continuously expanding its district heating network and wanted to look into the possibilities of offering district cooling to the companies in the municipality. In order to offer both district heating and cooling, heat pumps were seen as an obvious choice.
Ramboll was hired to make a screening of the district cooling potential in Gentofte municipality by identifying potential customers and estimating their cooling demand. The potential benefits of using heat pumps and groundwater cooling were assessed and different district cooling solutions were compared to conventional individual cooling solutions.
Two potential district cooling areas were identified in the municipality. These areas were subsequently validated by contacting key customers, and a socio- and private economic analysis was carried out. Based on this feasibility study, Gentofte municipality will be able to decide whether to produce and distribute cooling as an integral part of the existing district heating network.
Approach to the project
Using Ramboll’s tool DCmapper, the district cooling potential in Gentofte was assessed and visualised. Individual cooling production was weighed against the price of a district cooling system in order to assess the extent to which the establishment of a district cooling system could be justified from an economic point of view. Four concepts for combining the production of heating and cooling were proposed and technically described. A socio- and private economic analysis was made, and by means of the economic analysis for a 20-year period, the concepts were assessed with regards to energy consumption and lifetime economy.
The legal boundaries and organizational aspects within district cooling were described. Moreover, the environmental effects and future perspectives of each concept were assessed, and finally a development plan was proposed.