Award-winning district cooling station solution | Uponor

Award-winning district cooling station solution

Innovations that save money – and the environment

Award winning cooling in Sweden

When Swedish energy company Öresundskraft needed an extension for its district cooling station in Helsingborg, Sweden, it opted for a solution that was better for the environment than traditional solutions – and also saves money.

The new district cooling station located in Helsingborg’s harbour was completed during the spring of 2018 and uses seawater from the Öresund Channel to produce district cooling. A fully developed cooling system of this kind can reduce electricity consumption and emissions by about 65–70% compared with traditional electrically powered cooling units. However, the use of seawater requires special precautions regarding a range of issues related to the environment, durability and maintenance. This is due to the unique installation conditions such as the effect seawater has on components and construction materials, and the possibility of clogging caused by shells and barnacles.

By using seawater as a coolant – combined with the use heat from the district heating network to power an additional absorption cooling unit – the new district cooling solution delivers much better environmental values than older, standard methods. Hence, Helsingborg’s district cooling station is now an efficient source of cooling for private homes, industrial facilities and shopping centres.

The largest prefabricated structure in Sweden

Uponor Infra’s 360™ approach delivers better solutions

The initial plan involved creating a concrete structure that would be cast in situ. However, thanks to Uponor Infra´s close engagement with the project during early planning stages – in which their 360-mindset allowed for a fresh evaluation of the options available – a new and better solution quickly emerged.

Uponor’s holistic 360 approach means focusing its best know-how and experience in close consultation with its partners and clients throughout all phases of a project – to ensure the overall flow of the solution, process and operation. In this case, Uponor Infra´s Project Services team was able to clearly explain the advantages of a plastic Weholite-based system which would result in huge savings during construction, and with no risk of concrete disintegrating through exposure to seawater.

Compared with other potential materials and piping systems, selecting Weholite for the project’s intake pipes became self-evident to the client for a number of reasons: Weholite is the most cost-effective material available for the required use, and it also has the highest durability and is the easiest to maintain. This last point was particularly important as Öresundskraft specified that for environmental reasons neither the cooling pipes nor the pump station should require chemical cleaning – but should instead be able to be cleaned by pigging, a method that works well with polyethylene (PE) pipes.

Uponor Infra’s overall contract consisted of detailed engineering, project management, marine dredging and backfilling work.

Creative support throughout the project

The pump station made by Uponor Infra is the largest prefabricated structure in Sweden, at 23 metres long and with dimensions of ID/OD3,500/3,900mm.

Uponor Infra’s overall contract consisted of detailed engineering, project management, marine dredging and backfilling work; the underwater installation of intake and outfall pipelines; land-based sheet piling; excavation, backfilling and asphalt works; the welding and installation of the intake pipes; the supply and installation of a prefabricated pumping station including sluice gates; filtration units; two pumps with a capacity of 3,600m3/h; and the circulation of water to the heat exchanger and outfall pipeline and then back into the sea chambers and poly pig devices.

The entire process – from the first drawing and calculations to the groundwork, complicated installation process and land restoration – was conducted by Uponor Infra and subcontractors. In 2017, the project was awarded the CCAC international environmental prize at the UN’s climate conference COP23 in Bonn.

The pump station custom-built by Uponor Infra is the largest prefabricated pumping structure in Sweden, at 23 metres long and with dimensions of ID/OD3,500/3,900mm. The robust nature of Weholite enabled the pump station to be prefabricated at Uponor’s factory in Fristad, transported to Helsingborg, and lowered into place in a waterfilled sheet-piled cofferdam. This method hugely rationalized the work and would not have been possible if a concrete solution had been selected.

Close support – from end to end

Uponor Infra´s mindset was a key to the project’s success during all phases. The entire process – from the first drawing and calculations to the groundwork, complicated installation process and land restoration – was conducted by Uponor Infra and subcontractors. Their wide responsibilities included detailed engineering plans, project management, marine dredging and backfilling work, the underwater installation of intake and outfall pipelines; land-based sheet piling, excavation, backfilling and asphalt works, and the welding and installation of the intake pipes.

They also were responsible for the supply and installation of the prefabricated pumping station including sluice gates, filtration units, two pumps with a capacity of 3,600m3/h; and the circulation of water to the heat exchanger and outfall pipeline and then back into the sea chambers and poly pig devices.

Compared to other materials and piping systems, Weholite is the most costeffective material with the highest durability and is the easiest to maintain.

Award-winning innovation!

Not only was he overall project design most cost-effective, it was so environmentally friendly that it was awarded the 2017 CCAC international environmental prize at the UN’s climate conference COP23 in Bonn. Thanks in part to the innovative 360 support of Uponor Infra professionals, Helsingborg’s district cooling now eliminates 1,173 tonnes of CO2 equivalent emissions annually, of which energy efficiency accounts for 92%.
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