Case for District Cooling

District Cooling (and similarly district heating) is a concept which enables a common cooling plant to manage the air-conditioning requirement in houses or building.

The centrally located plant supply cold or chilled water to the individual units which have air handling units only to manage air-conditioning.District heating is a common concept in European countries while district cooling is becoming very common in middle-east. District cooling is much more energy efficient than compared to individual air-conditioning units. It can shave off 30-40 % of the energy bill.In the Indian scenario, unfortunately district cooling has not been adopted. One of the reasons has been than residential air-conditioning in a relatively new phenomenon (yes!) in India. It has been only for the last 10-15 years, that urban middle class has adopted air-conditioning aggressively. For the last few years, we have seen emergence of centralized air-conditioning in large number of apartment complexes. Very soon, we would see that the builders would start developing apartment complexes with district cooling infrastructure. It should help reduce the energy bills for these apartments (for the same level of comfort).It would however be very interesting to see whether India is able to adopt any variations of the district cooling models such as district cooling with renewable energy plants or integration of energy storage. If found practical, the concept of centralized renewable energy plants to directly generate chilled water and distribute the chilled water for air-conditioning can revolutionize the energy management and renewable energy segments and may provide more energy efficient options for urban residential societies.

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