Emirates Central Cooling Systems Corporation (Empower) has commenced operations at its district cooling plant, which is touted as the world's first unmanned district cooling plant, in Dubai’s Jumeirah Village Circle.
With a total cooling capacity of 38,000 refrigeration tonnes (RT), the district cooling plant will provides cooling services to residents of 52 buildings. Additionally, residents of 30 new buildings will also be supplied with the cooling services, which will bring the total number of buildings to 82, with a total cooling capacity of 49,000RT by the end of 2020.
Empower made the announcement of the operational start of its plant on the sidelines of the ongoing Emirates Innovation week organised by the General Secretariat of the Executive Council of Dubai, which runs from 22 to 28 February, under the theme "Innovates towards the next 50."
Latest technologies in district cooling including the use of Thermal Energy Storage (TES) has been adopted to monitor and adjust the water flow to and from the cooling plant. This helps to reduce the burden on the grid during peak hours, with the technology being also adopted to to conserve natural resources.
According to Empower’s chief executive officer, Ahmad Bin Shafar adopting modern technologies in district cooling results in improving the efficiency of the facilities’ performance and reducing the annual operating costs.
The JVC plant will be connected to Empower’s Command Control Centre (CCC), which operates with the advanced SCADA system that provides the ability to read more than one million data entries of cooling towers, coolers, transformers, and water supplies at Empower's 79 cooling plants.
According to Empower, the plant will be the first in a series of unmanned operating plants that the company has been planning to develop in a bid to save energy and keep up with the growing demand for eco-friendly cooling services.
By the end of 2019, Empower had saved a total of 1,224MW of electricity worth $871.2m (AED3.2bn), according to the UAE's state-held news agency, Wam.
Currently, Empower provides district cooling services to more than 1,180 buildings and 120,000 customers, with a total cooling capacity of 1,530,000RT.