Singapore District Cooling Benefits From Real-time Electricity Prices
Cost Savings with Clever Demand Shifts
Singapore District Cooling has realized significant electricity cost savings by deploying demand shifts on their daily operations-savings made possible as a subscriber to EMC's Data Subscription Service.
District cooling was implemented in Singapore when feasibility studies predicted a multitude of benefits from a central chilling facility. The concept of district cooling is simple and dates back to nineteenth century Europe where ice from lakes was used to cool palaces. Singapore District Cooling uses a thermal energy storage system to optimize its operation. Ice is formed in the thermal energy storage system by a charging process- typically during off-peak hours when electricity prices are low-and discharged for distribution during peak hours when electricity prices are high.
The benefits of district cooling, associated with economies of scale, include higher energy efficiency and lower overall operating costs of chilled water production. In addition, developers of commercial buildings are pleased to put into high yielding usage the building space which would otherwise be needed for an in-building chiller plant. District cooling is also growing in popularity against the backdrop of surging oil prices.
However, electricity prices in the wholesale market may not always be low during off-peak hours or vice versa. (For instance, unplanned supply disruptions or the forced outage of a gas transmission component may occur.) As a data subscriber, Singapore District Cooling makes use of the real-time and forecast data available to them via a secured website so that their charging and discharging process can be optimised. Charging can be ramped up during periods when prices are low and discharged when prices are high.
During periods when supply outages are experienced, data subscribers such as Singapore District Cooling receive e-mail alerts, so first-hand information is always available to their operational staff, 24 hours a day.
In addition, the daily, weekly and monthly trading reports contain graphs and commentaries on demand, supply and prices, providing data subscribers with valuable market information.