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A heating and cooling solution for tomorrow’s energy needs

Distance heating helps to reduce CO2 emissions across the Geneva canton and the number of individuals, companies or communities that are choosing to hook up to this network is growing all the time.

A global response to heating, hot water and air conditioning needs

Distance heating – also known as district heating – is a collective urban heating system par excellence. District heating replaces the old individual boilers typically found in the basement of buildings by a heating distribution system. Today, it can also produce cooling solutions - for air conditioning systems for example - thanks to absorption machines. In the future the district heating facilities will be set up to use renewable energy. By employing scalable technology, district heating is not dependant on any one particular type of energy; it can be created through an energy mix comprising natural gas, incineration of household waster, solar power, geothermal energy or even biomass (wood, vegetable oils, biogas).

A good solution for communities and the environment alike

At a time when society is faced with climate change caused by human behaviours, district heating offers a chance to rationalize everyone’s comfort needs. By reducing the number of individual heaters and chimneys, district heating eliminates all sources of pollutants and CO2 emissions, without having to use oil fuels. District heating installations are subject to OPair norms (Ordinance for the Protection of Air) and equate to less traffic on the roads, as there is no need to carry fuel for individual supply and use.

Operating principles: safe, comfortable, ecological and efficient

Diagram showing the principles of a district heating system.

Heat produced by a central installation circulates in a closed circuit within a pressurized, insulated network. It arrives in the form of hot water overheated to between 95 and 133°C and comes out at 73° C. To transfer the heat of the district heating network into internal heating circuits, each building or group of buildings holds a sub-station, which has:
Heat exchangers transfer heat from the network to individual circuits within the building in the form of heating and domestic hot water. As they are hydraulically separated from the network, they can operate at lower temperatures and at a lower pressure. Highly reliable, district heating is permanently controlled by remote monitoring and requires hardly any maintenance by users.

Diagram showing a district heating solution, which uses water at high temperatures to supply hot water and central heating to a building. The building is connected to a heat exchanger and a twin hot and cold piped water circuit.

To be made feasible, this energy solution requires: