District cooling plants (DCPs) have been built in many places as an alternative to using air conditioning units. DCPs have a number of advantages over traditional methods of large building cooling, such as reduced energy consumption and emissions and improved comfort. However, DCPs also have some disadvantages, such as high capital, expensive maintenance expenses, and costly operational expenditure.
And what is a better alternative to district cooling?
Now is the time for Cooling as a Service
In recent years, a new concept known as Cooling as a Service (CaaS) has emerged as an alternative to district cooling. CaaS providers cool buildings by using chilled water systems. These systems are designed to be more efficient than traditional cooling methods and use less energy.
Business-wise, why should building owners opt for CaaS to cool their spaces?
CaaS providers build, own, and operate cooling plants for building owners and then sell the cooling produced to customers on a pay-as-you-use basis. In other words, clients only pay for the cooling they use, making CaaS a more flexible and cost-effective option than district cooling.
Suitable buildings for Cooling as a Service
Chilled water systems with CaaS are suitable options as a building cooling system for medium to large facilities. For instance, CaaS providers’ list of clients includes office building owners, shopping malls, hotels, data centres, hospitals, and educational institutions. In general, any building that requires a large amount of cooling would be a good candidate for CaaS.
Advantages of Cooling as a Service compared to district cooling
CaaS has several advantages over the traditional centralised cooling system or district cooling model. They are lower upfront costs, reduced maintenance expenses, and more predictable operational expenditure.
One of the key advantages of CaaS is that it allows customers to avoid the high upfront costs associated with building a district cooling plant or committing to a district cooling contract. CaaS providers typically build plants using their own capital, and clients just need to pay for cooling as they pay for electricity or water. This business model can be very attractive to customers who do not have the upfront capital to join a district cooling contract.
Another advantage of CaaS is that it can help customers reduce their maintenance expenses. CaaS providers include maintenance in the fee they charge customers. This can help building owners avoid the costly repairs and maintenance that are often required with district cooling plants.
Finally, the CaaS business model can help customers predict and control their operational expenditure. Because CaaS providers utilise data to provide efficient cooling, customers can budget for their cooling costs in a predictable way. This can be a significant advantage over the traditional centralised cooling model, which can have high energy costs that can fluctuate greatly from month to month.
Overall, the CaaS business model has a number of advantages over the traditional methods to cool large buildings. CaaS can be a more affordable option for building owners that don’t want to allocate their resources to invest in a cooling system. In addition, CaaS can help customers reduce their maintenance expenses and predict their operational expenditure. If you are considering an alternative to district cooling for your building cooling system, CaaS may be worth considering.