Environmental and climate-smart investment in Sundsvall

Sundsvall Energi is investing in district cooling and FVB is managing the work.

Most major cities in the country already have networks for district cooling and now it’s Sundsvall’s turn.

“This is an environmental and climate-smart solution where effective free cooling, in cooperation with our district heating system, is a winning concept,” says Sundsvall Energi’s CEO Anders Jonsson.

Free cooling is an important part of the deal

Sundsvallsåsen, which is a major water reservoir that runs under much of the central part of the city, will provide free cooling in the system. The water in the ridge maintains a temperature of about seven to nine degrees Celsius year-round.

“Access to free cooling in the form of water from Sundsvallsåsen under the city is an important piece of the puzzle to recoup the investment,” says Anders Jonsson.

The demand for comfort and process cooling has increased.

“The modern city requires these solutions and many of the larger property owners are already demanding district cooling. The F-gas Regulation means that many individual solutions for comfort cooling will be phased out,” says Anders Jonsson and notes that a central district cooling system with low electrical input and climate-smart technology can compete well with other solutions.

Increased requirements for comfort

Thomas Nordin from FVB has been the project leader for the construction of the new district cooling system since August 2019. Thomas believes the project is part of the development of a more sustainable Sundsvall.

“There are increased requirements from property owners and their tenants for comfort and better indoor climate, and cooling is currently an important part of that. This applies to modern offices and stores but also to healthcare facilities, public buildings, and data centres.” 

A sustainable alternative

The technology is not new. The energy is already taken from the cold water in the reservoir to cool individual buildings.

“We are creating a central production facility and building a district cooling network according to the same model as for district heating,” says Thomas.

Many of today’s solutions with compressors and air conditioning contain refrigerants that heavily impact the greenhouse effect in case of a leak. Therefore, an F-gas regulation has been enacted in the EU to strongly reduce the sale and use of these refrigerants by 2030, according to a defined plan.

“Our future network will be an economically and ecologically sustainable option,” says Thomas.

Complementary systems

The process enables the cold water from Sundsvallsåsen to be combined with absorption cooling, which is a process where energy from district heating is used to produce cooling. Thomas Nordin describes this further.

“Because district heating is needed mostly in the winter and district cooling mostly in the summer, the systems complement each other. This gives Sundsvall Energi a more even production where energy from waste incineration in Korstaverket and waste heat from the industry are the main components of the energy system.”

This first phase of the district cooling network is currently being planned and Sundsvall Energi will start the digging for the new lines in 2020. One of the first customers to be connected to the new network is a new hotel to be opened in the spring of 2021. 

“This is an infrastructure project that will take several years to complete,” says Thomas. We see a number of stages in front of us where the pace of the expansion is determined by the property owners and their interest in being connected to the system.

Secure cooperation with FVB

Anders Jonsson says that Sundsvall Energi’s previous experience working with FVB has been very positive.

“FVB was one of the pioneers of district cooling in Sweden as early as the ‘90s and has been a leader in the field since. Their extensive experience and local presence in Sundsvall with a suitable organisation make it feel safe to collaborate with FVB and to be able to use their resources in the expansion.

“FVB also has very solid expertise in district heating and is particularly talented at getting the most out of the combination of district heating/cooling,” says Anders Jonsson.

More information:
Thomas Nordin, +46 (0)60 67 27 07

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