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University Hospital to receive sustainable district cooling from large chalk lake

By State of Green, October 03, 2018

A University Hospital near the city of Aalborg, Denmark will be cooled with cold water from a deep and ice-cold chalk lake. This will result in large electricity savings and limit CO2-emissions.

An agreement between Aalborg Utility and the North Denmark Region entails that the University Hospital, located in the eastern part of Aalborg, becomes the first customer within the municipality to install a brand new and emission limiting cooling solution: district cooling.

Close to Aalborg Portland’s large chalk lake, which is approx. 3.5 kilometre from the hospital, Aalborg Utility will establish a new district cooling facility. To begin with, the facility’s 11 MW will only be used to cover the hospital’s cooling demand. However, other businesses or institutions in the area, with a large demand for cooling, will be given the opportunity to use the facility as well.

‘’It is incredible to witness big players like the North Denmark Region, Aalborg Utility and Aalborg Portland cooperate on implementing such a large and ambitious project. When the facility is completed, it will become the most effective and most sustainable district cooling system in Denmark, and it will be among the best facilities internationally’’, said Thomas Kastrup-Larsen, Mayor of Aalborg.

An energy efficient and sustainable alternative to conventional cooling
District cooling systems operate under the exact same principles as systems for district heating, just with cold water instead of hot water being pumped around the pipe system. Aalborg Utility has rented Aalborg Portland’s chalk lake, located in the eastern part of Aalborg, and from here, the future district cooling facility will exploit the low temperature found at the bottom of the lake. The district cooling will be used for delivering cooling for e.g. air-conditioning, machines, servers and could, therefore, replace the conventional electrically powered cooling facilities.

Related news: Cooling the city with seawater from the harbour

The district cooling from Aalborg Utility is expected to be at least five times as efficient as conventional cooling solutions and far less space consuming. With the new facility, Aalborg Utility expects that the hospital will be able to save around 80 percent of their current electricity use compared to the old cooling facility. Additionally, they estimate yearly emission savings at around 500-700 tonnes CO2.

‘’We have supplied Aalborg Utility with surplus heat through a number of years, and we are excited to expand our resource efficient cooperation to include an energy efficient and sustainable alternative to conventional cooling. This kind of cooperation is fundamental for our circular business model, and we are constantly looking for new ways to be included in symbiosis with other organisations for the benefit of the surrounding society and environment’’, said Michael Lundgaard Thomsen, Managing Director at Aalborg Portland.

The first cooling will be delivered to the hospital in January 2020, and the entire project with cooling from the chalk lake will be completed during summer 2021.

Source: Ingeniøren (in Danish), EnergyWatch (in Danish)

Photo credit: Aalborg Utility

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