District Energy St. Paul provides a superior alternative to on-site gas boilers, by providing highly efficient hot water service to almost 200 buildings, totaling over 31 million square feet of building area. Hot water is generated at the central plant as well as satellite facilities, then circulated to buildings connected to the hot water loop. The system circulates its system volume of one million gallons of water per hour, with a supply temperature of 250°F in the winter and 190°F in the off-season. The system’s reliability has exceeded 99.99 % since service began. The hot water system provides space heat, domestic water heating for restaurants, hotels, laundry and dishwashing facilities, as well as heat for snow melt systems.
How it Works
District heating systems produce hot water, steam, or chilled water at a central plant and then distribute the energy through underground pipes to buildings connected to the system. Individual buildings connected to district heating no longer need boilers or to maintain redundancy for heating needs. Customers use the hot water provided by District Energy to meet their space heating, water heating, and heat processing needs. Once used in customer buildings, the water is returned to the central plant for reheating then recirculated through the closed-loop piping system.
- 99.99% reliability of service
- Stabilizes energy costs for district heating customers
- Improves energy security and community resiliency
- Reduces air emissions by centralizing boiler operations
History of District Heating Systems
Heating and cooling public spaces for people has been a challenge for the human race since the beginning of time. District heating was developed in ancient Rome to deliver hot water or steam heat to its structures. Steam district heating originated in the U.S. in the 1800s. In the 20th century, Europe perfected hot water district heating technology to meet the heating needs of countries with varying weather climates. Today, district energy systems provide heating and cooling to public spaces such as commercial buildings, condominiums, hotels, sports facilities, universities, and government complexes all over the world.