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DISTRICT

COOLING
BEST
PRACTICE
GUIDE
FIRST EDITION

Published to inform, connect


and advance the global
district cooling industry

Westborough, Massachusetts, USA


DISTRICT COOLING BEST PRACTICE GUIDE
©2008 International District Energy Association. All rights reserved.

Contents
Preface iii
Acknowledgements iv

1. Introduction 1
1.1 Purpose 1
1.2 Overview and Structure of the Guide 2

2. Why District Cooling? 2


2.1 Customer Benefits 2
2.1.1 Comfort 2
2.1.2 Convenience 2
2.1.3 Flexibility 2
2.1.4 Reliability 2
2.1.5 Cost-effectiveness 2
Fundamental cost advantages 2
Load diversity 2
Optimized operations 2
Advanced technologies 3
Better staff economies 3
Customer risk management 3
Cost comparison 3
Capital costs 3
Annual costs 3
2.2 Infrastructure Benefits 3
2.2.1 Peak power demand reduction 3
2.2.2 Reduction in government power sector costs 4
Capital costs of power capacity 4
Power sector operating costs 4
Total costs of electricity 5
Power utility recognition of district cooling benefits 5
2.3 Environmental Benefits 7
2.3.1 Energy efficiency 7
2.3.2 Climate change 7
2.3.3 Ozone depletion 8

3. Business Development 9
3.1 District Cooling as a Utility Business 9
3.1.1 Engineering design 9
3.1.2 Organizational design 9
3.2 Marketing and Communications 9
3.2.1 Positioning 9
3.2.2 Customer value proposition 10
Value proposition summary 10
Building chiller system efficiency 10
Structuring the cost comparison 10
Communicating with prospective customers 11
3.3 Risk Management 11
3.3.1 Nature of district cooling company 11
3.3.2 Capital-intensiveness 11
3.3.3 Will visions be realized? 11
3.3.4 District cooling company risks 12
Stranded capital 12
Temporary chillers 12

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Construction risks 12
Underground congestion 12
Community relations 12
General construction issues 12
Revenue generation risks 12
Inadequate chilled-water delivery 12
Delays in connecting buildings 13
Metering 13
Reduced building occupancy 13
3.4 Rate Structures 13
3.4.1 Capacity, consumption and connection rates 13
Capacity rates 13
Consumption rates 13
Connection charges 13
Regional rate examples 13
3.4.2 Rate structure recommendations 14
Capacity rates 14
Connection charges 14
Initial contract demand 14
Rate design to encourage optimal building design and operation 15
3.5 Performance Metrics 15

4. Design Process and Key Issues 16


4.1 Load Estimation 16
4.1.1 Peak demand 16
4.1.2 Peak-day hourly load profile 17
4.1.3 Annual cooling load profile 18
4.2 Design Temperatures and Delta T 18
4.2.1 Delta T is a key parameter 18
4.2.2 Limitations on lower chilled-water supply temperature 19
Chiller efficiency 19
Evaporator freezeup 20
Thermal energy storage 20
4.2.3 Limitations on higher chilled-water return temperature 20
Dehumidification and coil performance 20
Heat exchanger approach temperature 21
4.2.4 Best practice recommendation 21
4.3 Master Planning 21
4.4 Permitting (Way Leaves) 22
4.5 Integration of District Cooling With Other Utility Infrastructure 22
4.5.1 Growth and infrastructure stresses 22
4.5.2 Paths for utility integration 23
Heat rejection 23
Desalination 24
Natural gas 24
The challenge of utility integration 24
4.6 Designing for Operations 25

5. Building HVAC Design and Energy Transfer Stations (ETS) 26


5.1 Building System Compatibility 26
5.1.1 Cooling coil selection 26
5.1.2 Bypasses and three-way valves 27
5.1.3 Control-valve sizing and selection 27

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DISTRICT COOLING BEST PRACTICE GUIDE
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5.1.4 Building pump control 27


5.1.5 Water treatment and heat-transfer effectiveness 29
5.1.6 Additional economic opportunities 29
5.2 System Performance Metrics at the ETS 29
5.3 Selecting Direct or Indirect ETS Connections 30
5.3.1 Direct connections 31
5.3.2 Indirect connections 32
5.4 Heat Exchanger Considerations 33
5.4.1 HEX temperature requirements 33
5.4.2 HEX pressure requirements 34
5.4.3 HEX redundancy requirements 34
5.4.4 HEX performance efficiency 35
5.4.5 Other HEX considerations 35
5.5 Control-Valve Considerations 35
5.5.1 Location and applications 36
5.5.2 Control-valve types and characteristics 36
Pressure-dependent control 36
Pressure-independent control 37
5.5.3 Control-valve sizing 37
5.5.4 Actuator sizing and selection 38
5.5.5 Quality and construction 38
5.6 ETS and Building Control Strategies 38
5.6.1 Supply-water temperature and reset 38
5.6.2 Supply-air temperature and reset at cooling coils 39
5.6.3 Building pump and ETS control-valve control 39
5.6.4 Capacity control after night setback 39
5.6.5 Staging multiple heat exchangers 40
5.7 Metering and Submetering 40
5.7.1 Introduction 40
5.7.2 Meter types 40
Dynamic meters 40
Static flow meters 41
5.7.3 Designing for meter installation and maintenance 41
5.7.4 Standards 42
5.7.5 Other equipment 42
5.7.6 Submetering 42
Meter reading 42
Conclusions about submetering 43

6. Chilled-Water Distribution Systems 45


6.1 Hydraulic Design 45
6.1.1 Hydraulic model 45
6.1.2 Customer loads and system diversity 45
6.1.3 Startup and growth 46
6.1.4 Piping layout 46
6.1.5 Delta T 46
6.1.6 Pipe sizing 47
6.2 Pumping Schemes 47
6.2.1 Variable primary flow 48
Special considerations for district cooling systems 49
Design considerations 49
When to use variable primary flow 50
6.2.2 Primary-secondary pumping 50

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When to use primary-secondary pumping 51


6.2.3 Distributed pumping 51
6.2.4 Booster pumps 52
6.3 Pump and Pressure Control 52
6.3.1 Distribution pumps 52
6.3.2 Variable-frequency drives 53
6.3.3 Differential pressure control 53
6.3.4 Pump dispatch 53
6.3.5 System pressure control and thermal storage 54
6.4 Distribution System Materials and Components 55
6.4.1 Pipe materials 55
Welded-steel pipe 55
HDPE pipe 56
Ductile-iron pipe 57
GRP pipe 58
Pipe material selection summary 58
Steel pipe 58
HDPE pipe 58
Ductile-iron pipe 59
GRP pipe 59
6.4.2 Isolation valves 59
Valve chambers 59
Direct-buried isolation valves 59
Cost considerations 61
6.4.3 Branch connections/service line takeoffs 62
6.4.4 Insulation 62
Evaluating insulation requirements 62
Pre-insulated piping insulation considerations 63
6.4.5 Leak-detection systems 64
Sensor-wire leak detection 64
Acoustic leak detection 65
Software-based leak detection 65

7. Chilled-Water Plants 66
7.1 Chilled-Water Production Technologies 66
7.1.1 Compression chillers 66
Reciprocating 66
Rotary 66
Centrifugal 66
Centrifugal-chiller capacity control 66
Inlet guide vanes 66
Variable-speed drive (VSD) 66
Hot-gas bypass 67
Meeting low loads 67
7.1.2 Natural gas chillers 67
7.1.3 Absorption chillers 68
Pros and cons 68
Efficiency 69
Capacity derate 69
Capital costs 69
Equipment manufacturers 69
Operating costs 70
7.1.4 Engine-driven chillers 70

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DISTRICT COOLING BEST PRACTICE GUIDE
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7.1.5 Combined heat and power (CHP) 70


7.1.6 Choosing chiller type in the Middle East 71
7.2 Thermal Energy Storage (TES) 71
7.2.1 Thermal energy storage (TES) types 72
Chilled-water thermal energy storage 72
Ice thermal energy storage 72
Low-temperature fluid thermal energy storage 72
7.2.2 Thermal energy storage benefits 72
Peak-load management 72
Energy efficiency 72
Capital avoidance 72
Operational flexibility 73
7.2.3 Thermal energy storage challenges 73
Sizing 73
Siting 73
Timing 74
7.3 Plant Configuration 74
7.3.1 Chiller sizing and configuration 74
7.3.2 Series-counterflow configuration 74
7.4 Major Chiller Components 75
7.4.1 Motors 75
Enclosure types 75
Standard motor enclosure costs 76
Inverter-duty premium 76
Motor efficiency 76
Motor physical size 76
Voltage options for chiller motors 76
7.4.2 Heat exchanger materials and design 77
7.5 Refrigerants 78
7.6 Heat Rejection 79
7.6.1 Overview of condenser cooling options 79
7.6.2 Optimum entering condenser-water temperature 80
7.6.3 Cooling tower considerations 80
Cooling tower sizing 81
Cooling tower basins 82
7.6.4 Condenser-water piping arrangement 83
7.7 Water Treatment 83
7.7.1 Water supply 83
Potable water 83
Treated sewage effluent 83
Seawater in a once-through arrangement 84
Seawater as tower makeup 84
Seawater treated using reverse osmosis or other desalination technologies 85
7.7.2 Treatment approaches 85
Chilled water 85
Treatment approach 85
Dosing and control 86
Condenser water 86
Treatment approach 86
Dosing and control 86
Legionella control 87
7.7.3 Zero liquid discharge 87
7.7.4 Service standards 87

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DISTRICT COOLING BEST PRACTICE GUIDE
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7.8 Balance of Plant 88


7.8.1 Piping design for condenser water 88
7.8.2 Sidestream filters 88
7.8.3 Cooling tower basin sweepers 90
7.8.4 Transformer room cooling 90
7.8.5 Equipment access 90
7.8.6 Noise and vibration 90
7.9 Electrical Systems 91
7.9.1 Short-circuit study 91
7.9.2 Protective device coordination study 91
7.9.3 Arc flash hazard study 91

8. Controls, Instrumentation and Metering 92


8.1 Introduction 92
8.2 Definitions 92
8.3 Overview 92
8.3.1 Typical DCICS functions 92
8.3.2 General design factors 93
8.3.3 DCICS evaluation performance 93
8.4 Physical Model 93
8.4.1 Sites 93
8.4.2 Plants 93
8.4.3 Local plant I&C system 93
Local plant controllers 93
Field devices 95
Local operator interface terminals 95
Local workstations 95
8.4.4 Command centers 95
Data server 95
Historical server 95
Command center workstations 96
Terminal server 96
Other servers and workstations 96
8.5 Logical Model 96
8.5.1 Level 0 96
8.5.2 Level 1 97
8.5.3 Level 2 98
8.5.4 Level 3 99
8.5.5 Level 4 99
8.5.6 Level 5 100
8.6 Sample DCICS 101
8.7 Level 0 – Best Practices 101
8.7.1 Point justification 101
8.7.2 Criteria for device selection 102
8.7.3 Redundant Level 0 equipment 102
8.7.4 Local instrumentation 106
8.7.5 Localized overrides for each controlled component 106
8.7.6 Good installation practices 106
8.8 Level 1 – Best Practices 106
8.8.1 Level 1 field instrumentation 106
8.8.2 I/O modules and racks 106
8.8.3 Onboard chiller controllers 107
8.8.4 Variable-frequency drives 108

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DISTRICT COOLING BEST PRACTICE GUIDE
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8.8.5 Energy monitoring equipment 108


8.8.6 Metering and submetering 108
8.8.7 Redundant Level 1 field instrumentation 110
8.8.8 Level 1 network best practice considerations 110
8.8.9 Level 1 data considerations 110
8.9 Levels 0 & 1 – Choosing Points to Monitor and Control 110
8.9.1 Example equipment segments 111
Primary-secondary systems 111
Variable primary systems 113
Chiller evaporators 115
Condenser-water systems 116
Cooling towers 117
Centrifugal chiller condensers 118
Constant-speed pumps 119
Variable-speed pumps 120
Heat exchangers 121
8.9.2 Level 0 vs. Level 1 – field instrumentation 122
8.10 Level 2 – Best Practices 122
8.10.1 Types of controllers 122
8.10.2 Selection criteria 123
8.10.3 Distributing controllers 123
8.10.4 Controller redundancy 123
8.10.5 Critical data integrity 124
8.10.6 Time-of-day synchronization between controllers 124
8.10.7 Controller power requirements 124
8.11 Level 3 – Best Practices 125
8.11.1 Connecting local OITs to local controllers 125
8.11.2 Displaying metering data on local OITs 125
8.11.3 Environment 125
8.11.4 Local OIT power requirements 125
8.12 Level 4 – Best Practices 125
8.13 Networking Best Practice Considerations 125
8.13.1 DCICS network categories 125
8.13.2 Level 2+ network infrastructure 129
Fiber optics 129
Wireless 129
Internet 130
8.13.3 Remote control vs. manning individual plants 130
8.13.4 Sophistication 130
8.13.5 Performance 130
8.13.6 Security 130
8.13.7 Physical network topologies 131
8.13.8 Network monitoring via OPC 131
8.13.9 Network bridging and controller pass-through 131
8.13.10 DCICS network and Level 4 equipment ownership 132
8.13.11 DCICS Level 2+ network component power requirements 132
8.14 Control Functions 133
8.15 Human-Machine Interface Functionality 133
8.16 Standardization 133
8.17 Standard Design Documents 134
8.18 Standard Testing Documents 135

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DISTRICT COOLING BEST PRACTICE GUIDE
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9. Procurement and Project Delivery 136


9.1 Design/Bid/Build (DBB) 136
9.2 Engineer/Procure/Construct (EPC) 137
9.3 Packaged Plants 137

10. Commissioning 140

Appendix
A – Abbreviations and Definitions A-1
B – Conversion Factors B-1
C – Arc Flash C-1

Tables
Table 2-1 Combined-cycle power plant operation cost factors
Table 2-2 Conversion of fuel prices in US$ per barrel oil equivalent (BOE) to US$ per MMBtu
Table 3-1 Summary of customer value
Table 5-1 Typical coil (and delta T) performance as entering-water temperature varies
Table 5-2 Sample heat exchanger differences with colder supply-water temperature and common building-side
conditions
Table 5-3 Tonnage capacity per heat exchanger
Table 5-4 Recommended maximum chloride content (ppm)
Table 5-5 Control-valve applications and control points
Table 6-1 Impact of delta T on 990 mm (36”) pipe capacity
Table 6-2 Impact of delta T on capacity of 1000 hp pump set
Table 7-1 Summary of packaged chiller types and capacities (ARI conditions)
Table 7-2 Impact of delta T in operation on chilled-water storage capacity
Table 7-3 Inputs to series-counterflow example
Table 7-4 Performance results for series-counterflow example
Table 7-5 Example dimensions and weights of motor types
Table 7-6 Corrosion resistance and performance of condenser tube material options
Table 7-7 Refrigerant phaseout schedule (Montreal Protocol, Copenhagen Amendment, MOP-19 adjustment)
Table 7-8 Inputs to low condenser flow example
Table 7-9 Performance results for low condenser flow example (3 gpm/ton vs. 2.3 gpm/ton)
Table 7-10 Recommended monthly tests
Table 7-11 Corrosion-coupon standards
Table 7-12 Performance characteristics of sand filters vs. cyclone separators
Table 8-1 PLC vs. DCS – pros and cons
Table 8-2 Level 0 best practice specifications
Table 8-3 Energy meter best practice specifications
Table 8-4 Key to instrument tagging symbols
Table 8-5 Function identifier key
Table 8-6 Level 0 vs. Level 1 field instrumentation – selection criteria
Table 8-7 Level 4 componentry best practice tips
Table 8-8 DCICS network categories
Table 9-1 Example detailed outline of Owner’s Requirements Documents (ORDs) for engineer/procure/construct
(EPC) procurement

Figures
Figure 2-1 Peak power demand reductions with district cooling
Figure 2-2 World oil prices during the past 10 years
Figure 2-3. Oil prices in US$ per MMBtu
Figure 2-4 Projected impact of oil price on price of delivered liquefied natural gas
Figure 2-5 Long-run marginal costs of delivered electricity from new combined-cycle plant at a range of fuel prices

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Figure 2-6 Example of time-of-day power rates compared with power demand, per New England Hourly
Electricity Price Index
Figure 2-7 Annual electric energy consumption savings with district cooling
Figure 3-1 Examples of Middle East district cooling rates
Figure 4-1 Design dry-bulb and mean-coincident wet-bulb temperatures for selected Middle East cities (ASHRAE
0.4% design point)
Figure 4-2 Design wet-bulb and mean-coincident dry-bulb temperatures for selected Middle East cities (ASHRAE
0.4% design point)
Figure 4-3 Example peak-day load profiles for various building types
Figure 4-4 Illustrative peak-day load profile for district cooling serving mixed building types
Figure 4-5 Illustrative district cooling annual load-duration curve
Figure 4-6 Effect of increased delta T on LMTD of cooling coils
Figure 4-7 Paths for potential utility integration
Figure 5-1 Expected coil performance over the design flow range for typical coil
Figure 5-2 Decoupled direct ETS connection
Figure 5-3 Simplified direct ETS connection
Figure 5-4 Indirect ETS connection (with combined HEX control valves)
Figure 5-5 Indirect ETS configuration (with dedicated HEX control valves)
Figure 5-6 Plate-and-frame heat exchanger installation
Figure 5-7 Plate-and-frame heat exchanger (courtesy Alfa Laval)
Figure 5-8 HEX surface area vs. "approach"
Figure 5-9 Importance of critical customer design
Figure 5-10 Pressure-dependent “globe” valve
Figure 5-11 Common control-valve characteristics
Figure 5-12 Pressure-independent control valve (courtesy Flow Control Industries)
Figure 5-13 Submetering system via fixed wireless
Figure 5-14 Submetering system with an RF handheld terminal
Figure 6-1 Impact of delta T on hydraulic profile
Figure 6-2 Variable primary flow
Figure 6-3 Traditional primary-secondary system
Figure 6-4 All variable primary-secondary system
Figure 6-5 Distributed primary-secondary system
Figure 6-6 Thermal storage tank used for maintaining static pressure in system
Figure 6-7 Weld-end ball valve
Figure 6-8 Weld-end butterfly valve
Figure 6-9 Direct-buried valve with mechanical actuation
Figure 6-10 Direct-buried valve with hydraulic actuator
Figure 6-11 Sluice plate hot tap
Figure 6-12 Example of estimated average ground temperatures at various depths
Figure 6-13 Distribution system supply-water temperature rise for example system at part load
Figure 7-1 Single-effect absorption cycle (courtesy York/Johnson Controls)
Figure 7-2 Engine-based CHP with electric and absorption chillers (courtesy York/Johnson Controls)
Figure 7-3 Turbine-based CHP with electric and steam-turbine-drive chillers
Figure 7-4 Load-leveling potential with thermal energy storage
Figure 7-5 Lift in single and series-counterflow chillers
Figure 7-6 Enclosure premiums above open drip-proof
Figure 7-7 Inverter-duty motor cost premium
Figure 7-8 Motor efficiency
Figure 7-9 Refrigerant environmental impact comparison
Figure 7-10 Counterflow cooling tower
Figure 7-11 Crossflow cooling tower
Figure 7-12 Chiller and tower kW/ton vs. ECWT
Figure 7-13 Rate of power change for chillers and cooling towers

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DISTRICT COOLING BEST PRACTICE GUIDE
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Figure 7-14 Pumps dedicated to specific condensers


Figure 7-15 Condenser pumps with header
Figure 8-1 DCICS physical model
Figure 8-2 DCICS logical model
Figure 8-3 Sample DCICS system
Figure 8-4 Primary-secondary systems
Figure 8-5 Variable primary system instrumentation
Figure 8-6 Chiller evaporator supply and return instrumentation
Figure 8-7 Condenser-water system instrumentation
Figure 8-8 Cooling tower instrumentation
Figure 8-9 Chiller condenser supply and return instrumentation
Figure 8-10 Constant-speed pump instrumentation
Figure 8-11 Variable-speed pump instrumentation
Figure 8-12 Heat exchanger instrumentation

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