District heating system sets new energy efficiency standard in China

A shift from polluting coal-fired stoves to a single district heating system will set a new standard for energy efficient heat production in Shangri-La County in China. The heating solution will also help to reduce air pollution and improve the quality of life of Shangri-La’s residents.

Located 3,300 meters above sea level in the northwest of Yunnan Province, Shangri-La sees variations in daily winter temperatures ranging from as low as minus 27 to one degree Celsius. To ensure the needs of the residents are met, five local SCADA control systems will communicate with a central control and monitoring system to manage heating delivery in the most efficient way. The integrated SCADA control system for each boiler house (one in each of the five districts in the area) will use the heat pumps as the base load and the boilers as modulating producers to provide heat as required.

“ABB’s automation and electrical solution interconnects and monitors the new heating plants for maximum effi ciency, which will help to provide a safe, reliable heating for about 50,000 residents,” says Massimo Danieli, head of ABB’s Power Generation unit, a part of the Power Systems division. “In addition, ABB will supply air-source heat pumps to move from individual heat-only boilers and stoves to boilers based on electricity. The pumps will boost the system`s energy effi ciency and help improve quality of life substantially by reducing coal-fi red emissions.”

The environmental benefits are expected to be substantial; reducing coal burning by an estimated 17,000 tons a year, which is approximately the equivalent of 105,000 tons in annual carbon dioxide emissions.


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