Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Deep Lake Water Cooling

For those of you who haven't seen this yet, Enwave Energy Corporation, through partial financial backing from the City of Toronto, developed the deep lake water cooling system that uses the cool energy in cold water to air-condition high-rise buildings in downtown Toronto. It currently cools 47 buildings, with the potential to cool many more. The system benefits the City by:

  • reducing energy consumption by up to 90% (compared to conventional chillers)
  • reducing carbon dioxide emissions
  • improving the water supply by using new intake pipes that are deeper
  • investing in a corporation in which the City is a shareholder
How does this work exactly? Enwave's three intake pipes draw water (4 degrees Celsius) from 5 kilometers off the shore of Lake Ontario at a depth of 83 meters below the surface. Naturally cold water makes its way to the City's John Street Pumping Station. There, heat exchangers facilitate the energy transfer between the icy cold lake water and the Enwave closed chilled water supply loop.

The water drawn from the lake continues on its regular route through the John Street Pumping Station for normal distribution into the City water supply. Enwave uses only the coldness from the lake water, not the actual water, to provide the alternative to conventional air-conditioning.

When I first heard about this initiative in Toronto, I was shocked. Shocked as in ... why are we not doing this everywhere?!! Seems like a logical move for all cities next to large bodies of water, say Cleveland, Chicago, etc. How can we get organizations, energy companies, city government officials, etc. to take a harder look at our cities and start investing in "Energy Independence?" Yes, there is a major initial investment involved, but it seems like such a win-win scenario in the long term. Let's start a letter writing campaign and make this happen!


justin said...

The city not only has deep water cooling, but also uses a central heating plant to create Steam, to help warm the buildings in the Winter.
The deep water cooling is very efficient though, with most buildings in the CBD connected to it.

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