What is DE?
District Energy Systems are networks of hot and cold water pipes, typically buried underground, that are used to efficiently heat and cool buildings using less energy than if the individual buildings were to each have their own boilers and chillers.
DES can heat and cool buildings using less energy resources than Business-As-Usual (BAU) systems. The energy savings can come from higher overall efficiency, better utilization of “waste heat”, and taking advantage of opportunities for “free cooling” (such as using lake water).
Having a large system also relieves many individual boilers and chillers from having to run on partial loads. Equipment is generally optimized to run most efficiently delivering a particular amount of thermal energy. In the shoulder season, having many chillers or boilers run at partial loads is an inefficient use of resources. By having a DES, the number of machines turned on can be controlled to meet demand producing more thermal energy per unit of energy input.