District Energy and CHP: Valuable Infrastructure for Sustainable Communities
Thursday, November 17, 2011 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM EST
The North Carolina Solar Center manages the US Department of Energy’s Southeast Clean Energy Application Center, which promotes deployment of highly efficient power and heat generation technologies. Our areas of work include Combined Heat and Power (CHP), District Energy and Waste Heat to Power. The Center is producing a webinar on District Energy and CHP, which is free to attend live or may be viewed later via a recording posted at the Southeast Clean Energy Application Center’s website. www.southeastcleanenergy.org.
Register for this webinar at https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/220817194
As cities, campuses and communities evolve to support denser populations with growing energy needs, traditional energy paradigms are giving way to cleaner, more efficient solutions like district energy systems. Although early investments in district energy and combined heat and power first took shape under Thomas Edison in Manhattan in the 1870’s, today’s district energy systems deliver very high reliability, reduced emissions, enhanced energy security through fuel flexibility, and tremendous economic advantages due to fuel efficiencies reaching toward 90%.
As population density climbs, we can no longer afford to simply hang all the load on the electricity grid. Thermal energy networks for heating and cooling cities or campuses can utilize surplus heat from power plants, or from waste to energy or from renewable sources like biomass, landfill gas, or geothermal. Natural sources of cooling like oceans, lakes and rivers can provide clean, abundant and affordable renewable district cooling to remove expensive peak demand from the wires and avoid emissions due to power generation.
In fact, in a May 2011 International Energy Agency report, heat was found to be the primary end use energy at 37% in OECD countries and at 47% globally, more than transport and electricity generation combined. To develop more sustainable cities and communities, infrastructure investment in thermal energy is critically important.
This briefing will provide an overview of the emergence of district energy in North America and discuss two cases: an award-winning and highly efficient CHP district energy system at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the private/public partnership investment in district heating and cooling for downtown Nashville, TN.
Robert Thornton – President, IDEA
Ray DuBose – Director, Energy Services at UNC-Chapel Hill
Harry Ragsdale – President, Thermal Engineering Group, Inc
Host: Isaac Panzarella, Director, US DOE Southeast Clean Energy Application Center