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cooling

New IEA analysis shows urgent need to improve cooling efficiency as global energy demand for ACs to triple by 2050

The growing use of air conditioners in homes and offices around the world will be one of the top drivers of global electricity demand over the next three decades, according to new analysis by the International Energy Agency that stresses the urgent need for policy action to improve cooling efficiency.

A new IEA report – The Future of Cooling – shows that without new efficiency standards the world will be facing a “cold crunch” from the growth in cooling demand in coming decades.

Global energy demand from air conditioners is expected to triple by 2050, requiring new electricity capacity the equivalent to the combined electricity capacity of the United States, the EU and Japan today. The global stock of air conditioners in buildings will grow to 5.6 billion by 2050, up from 1.6 billion today – which amounts to 10 new ACs sold every second for the next 30 years, according to the report.

Using air conditioners and electric fans to stay cool already accounts for about a fifth of the total electricity used in buildings around the world – or 10% of all global electricity consumption today. But as incomes and living standards improve in many developing countries, the growth in AC demand in hotter regions is set to soar. AC use is expected to be the second-largest source of global electricity demand growth after the industry sector, and the strongest driver for buildings by 2050.

Supplying power to these ACs comes with large costs and environmental implications. One crucial factor is that the efficiency of these new ACs can vary widely. For example, ACs sold in Japan and the European Union are typically 25% more efficient than those sold in the United States and China. Efficiency improvements could cut the energy growth from AC demand in half through mandatory energy performance standards.

“Growing electricity demand for air conditioning is one of the most critical blind spots in today’s energy debate,” said Dr Fatih Birol, the Executive Director of the IEA. “With rising incomes, air conditioner ownership will skyrocket, especially in the emerging world. While this will bring extra comfort and improve daily lives, it is essential that efficiency performance for ACs be prioritized.”

The report identifies key policy actions. In an Efficient Cooling Scenario, which is compatible with the goals of the Paris Agreement, the IEA finds that through stringent minimum energy performance standards and other measures such as labelling, the average energy efficiency of the stock of ACs worldwide could more than double between now and 2050. This would greatly reduce the need to build new electricity infrastructure to meet rising demand.

Making cooling more efficient would also yield multiple benefits, making it more affordable, more secure, and more sustainable, and saving as much as USD 2.9 trillion in investment, fuel and operating costs.

The rise in cooling demand will be particularly important in the hotter regions of the world.

Today, less than a third of global households own an air conditioner. In countries such as the United States and Japan, more than 90% of households have air conditioning, compared to just 8% of the 2.8 billion people living in the hottest parts of the world.

The issue is particularly sensitive in the fastest-growing nations, with the biggest increase happening in hot countries like India – where the share of AC in peak electricity load could reach 45% in 2050, up from 10% today without action. This will require large investments in new power plants to meet peak power demand at night, which cannot be met with solar PV technology.

Setting higher efficiency standards for cooling is one of the easiest steps governments can take to reduce the need for new power plants, and allow them at the same time to cut emissions and reduce costs,” said Dr Birol.

The Future of Cooling is the second IEA report that focuses on “blind spots” of the global energy system, following the The Future of Trucks, which was released in July 2017. The next one in this series – The Future of Petro-Chemicals – will examine ways to build a more sustainable petrochemical industry. It will be released in September.

Source: IEA

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Rolls-Royce will deliver two MTU Onsite Energy natural gas-fueled combined cooling, heating and power (CCHP) trigeneration systems to Richmond University Medical Center, a Level I trauma center in Staten Island, New York (USA).

The trigeneration project is being managed by Innovative Energy Strategies (IES) and is part of a multi-million dollar facility expansion adding a substantial increase in the center  capacity. As one of two Level I trauma centers on Staten Island, Richmond University Medical Center recognized the importance of alternative power supply solutions, especially after experiencing the devastation of Hurricane Sandy in 2012.

Stewart & Stevenson Power Products – Atlantic Division, an authorized MTU Onsite Energy distributor (part of Rolls-Royce Power Systems) , won a competitive bid to customize, supply, and deliver the two-natural gasfueled CCHP trigeneration systems.

“After we evaluated the equipment, installation and maintenance requirements for the project, IES selected MTU because of the fuel conversion efficiency and the extended maintenance periods that significantly reduce the total cost of ownership,” said Marty

Borruso, principal at IES. “Another major factor was the ability of the MTU engines to operate on low pressure gas, this feature is desirable in densely populated urban areas like New York City.”

Rated at 1,500 kWe each and guaranteeing performance under high ambient conditions, the CCHP units will provide clean and efficient continuous power to the 114-year-old trauma center. The two 50,000-pound units will be housed in a former laundry facility adjacent to the hospital, which has been renovated to comply with sound attenuation rules and regulations. The units will quietly blend into the background sounds of what is a highly concentrated residential area and will be protected inside the structure from external conditions.

“MTU Onsite Energy is a long-time partner to critical care facilities like the Richmond University Medical Center,” said Christian Mueller, senior sales engineer at MTU Onsite Energy. “These kinds of facilities have a year-round, 24/7 uptime obligation to patients, and we keep that top-of-mind when developing cogeneration solutions. MTU Onsite Energy is proud to offer peace of mind with the promise of cooling, heating and power to trauma centers when they need it most.”

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Camión de limpieza del socio Ecilimp Termosolar. Imagen: Planta termosolar Gemasolar, propiedad de Torresol Energy © Sener, tecnología de limpieza propiedad de Ecilimp | Cleaning truck owned by Ecilimp Termosolar. Picture: Gemasolar CSP Plant, property of Torresol Energy©Sener, cleaning technology property of Ecilimp

CSP plants are often installed in dry areas where solar irradiation is high and water resources are scarce. This is a serious environmental barrier in sunny arid regions like North Africa, the Middle East, South West USA and Chile. In CSP plants, water is mainly used in mirror cleaning and cooling processes and particularly in this area, CSP plants that use traditional wet-cooling systems consume a large amount of water because of cooling system evaporation losses. The MinWaterCSP project addresses the challenge of significantly reducing the water consumption of CSP plants while maintaining their overall efficiency. Its objective is to reduce evaporation losses and mirror cleaning water usage for small- and large-scale CSP plants through a holistic combination of next generation technologies.

MinWaterCSP is an R&D project that aims to reduce water consumption and improve thermal cycle efficiencies of CSP plants. The project, which has received funding from the EU’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme, started in January 2016 and will be completed in December this year.

The MinWaterCSP project consortium consists of 13 partners from 6 different EU- and non-EU countries. It is coordinated by Kelvion Holding GmbH (Project Coordinator, Germany) and Enexio Management GmbH (Technical Coordinator, Germany). Other consortium partners are: Kelvion Thermal Solutions (Pty) Ltd. (South Africa); Fraunhofer ISE (Germany); Sapienza University of Rome (Italy), ECILIMP Termosolar SL (Spain); Stellenbosch University (South Africa); Notus Fan Engineering (South Africa); Laterizi Gambettola SRL – Soltigua (Italy); Enexio Germany GmbH (Germany); Institut de Recherches en Energie Solaire et Energy Nouvelles – IRESEN (Morocco); Steinbeis 2i GmbH (Germany); and Waterleau Group NV (Belgium). Read more…

Article published in: FuturENERGY March 2018

A new policy brief co-authored by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and the World Resources Institute (WRI) finds that increasing the share of renewables, in particular solar PV and wind, in India’s power mix, and implementing changes in cooling technologies mandated for thermal power plants would not only lower carbon emissions intensity, but also substantially reduce water withdrawal and consumption intensity of power generation.

The brief, Water Use in India’s Power Generation – Impact of Renewables and Improved Cooling Technologies to 2030, finds that depending on the future energy pathways (IRENA’s REmap 2030 and the Central Electricity Authority of India), a power sector (excluding hydroelectricity) transformation driven by solar PV and wind, coupled with improved cooling technologies in thermal and other renewable power plants, could yield as much as an 84% decrease in water withdrawal intensity by 2030, lower annual water consumption intensity by 25% and reduce carbon emissions intensity by 43%, compared to 2014 levels. It builds off of the findings of Parched Power: Water Demands, Risks, and Opportunities for India’s Power Sector, launched by WRI.

More than four-fifths of India’s electricity is generated from coal, gas and nuclear power plants which rely significantly on freshwater for cooling purposes. Moreover, the power sector’s share in national water consumption is projected to grow from 1.4 to 9% between 2025 and 2050, placing further stress on water resources. Renewable energy, with the added potential to reduce both water demand and carbon emissions, must hence be at the core of India’s energy future.

Key findings

The power sector contributes to and is affected by water stress. Rapid growth in freshwater-intensive thermal power generation can contribute to water stress in the areas where plants are located. Power generation is expected to account for nearly 9% of national water consumption by 2050 (in a businessas-usual scenario) – growing from 1.4% in 2025 (Central Water Commission, 2015) and this figure is likely to vary quite significantly from region to region. There is a mismatch between water demand and supply when usable surface water capacity and replenishable groundwater levels are considered. Water stress is particularly acute in naturally arid regions and areas where water is also needed for other uses such as irrigation. Confronted with growing risks to water and energy security, the power sector needs long-term approaches to reduce its dependence on freshwater while also meeting other environmental objectives such as reducing atmospheric, water and soil pollution.

The combination of improved power plant cooling technologies and»renewable energy technologies, especially solar PV and wind, could lessen the intensity of freshwater use and carbon intensity of the power sector. In its Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC), India committed to increasing the share of non-fossil sources in its installed power capacity to 40% by 2030. India has a related target of 175 GW of renewables capacity by 2022, including 100 GW of solar PV and 60 GW of wind. As solar PV and wind power require significantly less water than conventional and other renewable sources during the operational phase, their substantial uptake could contribute to a reduction in freshwater use as well as carbon intensity of power generation. Simultaneously, phasing out once-through cooling technologies at existing power plants and restricting their installation at new thermal plants, through enforcement of the announced regulatory water use standards, will substantially reduce water withdrawal.

By 2030, the water withdrawal intensity of the electricity generation (excluding hydropower) could be reduced by up to 84%, consumption intensity by up to 25%, and CO2 intensity by up to 43% in comparison to the 2014 baseline. Under all scenarios analysed, the Indian power sector’s freshwater and CO2 intensity (excluding hydropower) would substantially fall compared to the 2014 baseline. Even as intensities reduce, changes to absolute water withdrawal and consumption in 2030 vary. The transition from once-through to recirculating cooling systems will drastically reduce withdrawal but will increase total water consumption in most scenarios. Coupled with continuing thermal and renewable capacity development, total water consumption in 2030 is estimated to increase by up to 4 billion m3. Measures discussed in this brief to reduce freshwater and carbon intensity complement demand-side measures, such as energy efficiency improvements, thus warranting an integrated approach to power sector planning.

The joint brief was launched at the World Future Energy Summit 2018 in Abu Dhabi

Source: IRENA

Scandinavia’s biggest urban development project is rising in Copenhagen. It’s a lab for future smart energy technologies and an opportunity for Danfoss to demonstrate the art of intelligent and climate-friendly heating and cooling.

During the next 50 years, the Nordhavn district, one of Europe’s largest metropolitan development districts, will host 40,000 new inhabitants as well as 40,000 jobs. Supporting the vision of Copenhagen to be the world’s first CO2 neutral capital, sustainable urban development is integrated into all aspects of the new city district.

The project called EnergyLab Nordhavn will develop and demonstrate energy solutions available for the future. It will show how electricity and heating, energy-efficient buildings and electric transport can be integrated into an intelligent, flexible and optimized energy system based on a large share of renewable energy.

Danfoss leads the way

Danfoss is leading the Nordhavn project about smart components in the integrated energy systems. The purpose is to demonstrate and analyze the technical and economic feasibilities of smart control of specific components and systems – with main functions to provide heat and cooling services in buildings.

The Danfoss technologies for Nordhavn deliver efficiency and flexibility in the energy system and include district heating substations based on ultra-low temperatures, remote-controlled radiator thermostats for the regulation of building space heating, and utilization of surplus heat from a supermarket’s refrigeration system.

Gold certificate

Nordhavn is unique. Due to the highest level of certification on sustainability at district and building level, it’s the only new urban development area to have received gold in the DGNB certification system.

EnergyLab Nordhavn is a key part in reaching Copenhagen’s overall goal of being CO2 neutral by 2025. The Copenhagen district heating system is already one of the world’s largest, oldest and most successful, supplying 98% of the city with clean, reliable and affordable heating.

Improvements in the heating sector in the Danish capital are important to reach vast energy savings and to meet the climate goal. In the past 40 years, energy consumption in Danish buildings has been reduced by 45% per square meter. But if the district heating unit in every property in Copenhagen was operated to its full potential, the city would still be able to use 10% less heat. And that would save the Copenhageners up to $70 m per year on heating bills.

As Greater Copenhagen accounts for 40% of Denmark’s population, solutions in Copenhagen like EnergyLab Nordhavn will contribute substantially to the national targets.

Source: Danfoss

The buildings in which Europeans sleep, eat, shop, learn and work, house a great opportunity for energy saving and emissions reduction, particularly in the so-called technical systems: heating, DHW, cooling, ventilation and lighting. A recent study by energy consultancy Ecofys, sponsored by Danfoss, shows the energy saving that can be achieved by improving energy management in Europe’s buildings. This hitherto under-exploited potential is calculated to save €67bn on the annual energy bill of European citizens by 2030, while reducing CO2 emissions by 156 Mt. Documents have been published as part of the study that focus on different types of buildings. This article sets out the main conclusions of the study in the case of supermarkets, along with some of the more recent success stories from Danfoss in this sector on the Iberian Peninsula.

Buildings allocated to supermarkets in Europe occupy an approximate surface area of 115 million square metres. Part of the study included an assessment of the energy saving potential of a sample supermarket with a surface area of 1,025 m2 and a total energy consumption of 181 kWh/m2a. This sample building is equipped with a gas condensing boiler for heating (with energy recovery for the refrigeration system); mechanical ventilation systems with no heat recovery; a refrigeration and air conditioning system by means of compression chillers; and a direct and indirect lighting system via fluorescent tubes.

 

Improvements to the technical systems in this sample supermarket reveal the possibility of achieving a 45% saving in energy, which translates into just over 8,000 €/year, with an investment of some €36,000 that would be amortised in around 4.5 years. Read more…

Article published in: FuturENERGY July-August 2017

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At its site in Puerto Rico, Lufthansa Technik uses clean energy obtained from biomass available in the region: Lufthansa Technik Puerto Rico and ENTRADE has signed a comprehensive energy supply contract. The first two trigeneration power plants (55 kW power; 100 kW refrigeration each) came into operation in May in 2×20-foot containers, which will be visually inconspicuous next to the two aircraft hangars at the state-of-the-art overhaul site. The key advantage for Lufthansa Technik is the reliable and on-demand energy supply that is replacing expensive power from diesel.

The facilities in the two aircraft hangars for five medium-range aircraft include a painting line. Excessive temperatures and the resulting failure of the power supply are extremely critical here. To date Lufthansa hasbeen using diesel generators to minimise the risk of power failures. The energy supply in Puerto Rico is comparatively expensive and is not 100% reliable. That’s why they were looking for a viable alternative.

 

The Type E3 power plants can be integrated into standard containers and operate with different kinds of biomass. In Puerto Rico, pellets based on waste wood produced in the region will initially be used as the fuel for environmentally friendly energy generation. The cooperation will involve investigating the scope for using aircraft waste (catering waste) directly from the airport. Catering waste currently has to be disposed of and this is very expensive.

At all Lufthansa Technik sites, both resource conservation and emission reduction play a major role in achieving corporate objectives. The emission-free ENTRADE power plants are the perfect fit – using fuels like waste wood direct from the surrounding area. From ENTRADE’s perspective, the close cooperation with Lufthansa Technik is a significant milestone. Cooperation talks are also in progress with representatives from the considerably larger site in Manila (Philippines).

Source: ENTRADE

Ilustración del mercado de climatización eficiente por el lado del aire en las cinco principales regiones del mundo para el período de previsión 2016-2025. Se espera que este mercado crezca a una tasa de crecimiento anual compuesto del 5,6%, alcanzando casi 4. 4.400 M$ al año para 2025./ Illustration of the total airside energy efficient HVAC market in the five major global regions for the 2016-2025 forecast period. This market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 5.6%, reaching nearly US$4.4bn annually by 2025.

Airside energy efficiency is of increasing importance as building envelopes grow tighter, mechanical ventilation rates are better enforced, and heating and cooling loads grow due to increased amounts of outside air and high internal heat gain. This is especially true of large commercial and industrial (C&I) buildings that have high cooling loads (such as data centres, which have loads driven by internal heat gain). This article summarises the main conclusions of a market report recently published by Navigant Research.

The airside energy efficiency market is expanding globally as the need for higher ventilation competes with the need for lower energy costs. Airside energy efficiency fits into a wide array of efficiency-improving measures in HVAC. These include better controls, more efficient equipment, and the integration of environmental information into heating and cooling procedures. Airside efficiency is unique in that it eliminates the need to heat or cool air part of the time by utilising outside air conditions or by preconditioning air via exhaust.

 

The main technologies related to airside energy efficiency for HVAC are airside economisers and energy recovery ventilation systems (ERVs). Both technologies have existed for decades and their popularity continues to increase throughout the world. Both are climate-specific and perform most effectively in various climatic regions and as such, regulations surrounding their use are region specific. Economisers tend to perform best in buildings in mild climates and ERVs tend to save the most energy in cold and humid climates. Building use is also important for the expansion of the markets for these technologies, benefitting heat-intense buildings like data centres.

In certain climates where these technologies perform especially well, such as the temperate, dry northern USA, adding an airside component to the HVAC system can result in a greater ROI compared to increasing the mechanical efficiency of other components. However in some regions, economisers are required by the building code. A ROI should not be considered in these cases given that the building owner has no alternative.

In North America and Europe, regulations surrounding the installation of airside energy efficient HVAC systems are strong and gaining ground. ASHRAE, for example, establishes baseline ventilation rates and efficiencies that most building codes in North America adopt. ASHRAE 90.1 specifies that economisers and ERVs must be installed on individual fan cooling units that exceed a certain equipment capacity (4.5 tonnes). These regulations are gradually requiring an increasing number of commercial buildings to install these systems and maximise their airside efficiency. While the initial expense of these systems does present a higher initial capital and installation cost to building owners, they have a rapid payback in energy savings, especially in the climate zones for which they are best suited (zones 1-8 for ERVs and zones 2-8 for economisers).

Other global regions, such as Asia Pacific, will experience growth primarily as cities become denser and the building stock expands. Installing airside energy efficient systems is a relatively inexpensive way to ensure continued savings on energy costs, especially in highly conditioned buildings like data centres.

Market forecasts

The airside energy efficient HVAC market is expected to be led by growth in the ERV segment, especially in Europe. According to Navigant Research, the global airside energy efficient HVAC market is expected to grow from US$2.7bn in 2016 to US$4.4bn in 2025. By 2025, Europe is expected to represent 54% of the ERV market, with North America and Asia Pacific each accounting for around 20%. Economisers are expected to grow at a similar rate, but are not suited for as many buildings or as many climates as ERVs.

Economiser installations (both an outside air damper and controls) are expected to lead in buildings like data centres in cool climates, where cooling load is high and there are many annual hours of free cooling. In addition, the lack of internal humidity generation in data centres makes them ideal for space cooling by outside air.

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The contribution of bioenergy to achieving the EU's 2020 objectives is crucial. By 2020, the target of 20% of energy production from renewables is expected to be achieved

In 2014, the contribution by renewable energy amounted to 16%, according to the 2016 Statistical Report on the Development of Bioenergy in the European Union, a paper drawn up every year by AEBIOM, the European Biomass Association. At that time, bioenergy accounted for 61% of all the renewable energy consumed, the equivalent of 10% of Europe’s gross final energy consumption. And the turnover generated by the biomass industry in the EU reached €55bn in 2014, up 32% on every10, according to EurObserv’ER.

The EU’s energy consumption in heating and cooling accounts from some 50% of the total, with 82% of that energy consumption covered by fossil fuels, 16% by biomass and the remaining 2% by other renewable energies. This is why bioenergy and renewables are becoming a key priority in policies specifically regarding the HVAC of the EU’s buildings. Bioenergy is currently the leading renewable energy for thermal use accounting for 88% of the uses for heating and cooling, or 16% of Europe’s gross final energy consumption.

 

One fact that is very important to highlight is that contrary to common belief, the woodlands of the EU-28 have been continuously growing over the last decades. In 1990, Europe’s woodland amounted to 19.7 billion m³ while in 2015, it stood at 26 billion m³, representing an increase of 34% over the last quarter of a century and coinciding with the years in which biomass has been used in a hi-tech format (pellets and wood chips) as source of renewable energy. According to Eurostat, in the EU-28, woodland has gained 322,800 hectares per year, the equivalent of a growth rate of one football pitch every minute.

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Four CHP plants from MTU Onsite Energy recently went into operation supplying electricity and cooling power for two new data centers belonging to South African telecommunications company Mobile Telephone Networks Limited (MTN) near Johannesburg. MTU Onsite Energy supplied a total of four plants generating cooling, heating and electric power for the project: one plant for a data center in Doornfontein and three others at a different location in Newlands.

At the heart of the plants is one 12V 4000 genset with 1,169 kWe capacity and three 16V 4000 gensets capable of 1,712 kWe each. This is the first time Series 4000 gas engines have gone into service in South Africa and so far, the units have been operated in limited service mode. Final completion is scheduled before the end of 2016. The plants will be maintained and serviced by personnel from MTU South Africa (Pty) Ltd, the local representatives of MTU Onsite Energy, Augsburg.

The distributed gas gensets will supply reliable, long-term power for MTN’s high-performance servers. Demand for electricity in South Africa regularly exceeds the available capacity. Supply reliability and economic efficiency are therefore major factors together with the ability of these plants to deliver ecologically sound energy, particularly in comparison to hard coal which is the country’s primary source of energy.

The plants also convert exhaust heat from the engines into cooling power to maintain proper working temperatures for the servers in South Africa’s hot climate. The compression performance of the turbochargers on the gas engines is also specially adapted to match the location of the data centers at an altitude of 1,700 meters. Gas is an extremely cost-effective alternative to diesel-powered gensets and, as a rule, distributed power generation provides a cheaper solution than energy available from public sources in South Africa. The gensets in this project operate on natural gas. Plans are also underway to utilize low-methane gas from coalmines and a genset with a specially adapted engine is likewise available for this application.

Source: MTU

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