Case study: How to engineer smart cities
Levent Taskin, president of Danfoss Turkey, Middle East and Africa, talks about Danfoss’ new smart city website and shares a few case studies from around the world
Danfoss has launched a new website, City.Danfoss.Com (snapshot below), that is presented in the form of a virtual city, which aims at showing how many different ways engineering touches and improves people’s lives.
Levent Taskin, president of Danfoss Turkey, Middle East and Africa, says that upon a visitor’s arrival at the site, a 60-second intro video informs us that Danfoss City is the place “where you can explore the technologies, know-how, and visions that will help us all engineer a better tomorrow—for us and for generations to follow.”
Claus Orth Nielsen, corporate branding & Danfoss City project lead, says: “We have built Danfoss City to speak to both the hearts and minds of people beyond our direct customers. The site will no doubt inspire many of our cus¬tomers to learn more about Danfoss and the power of engineering. But we are particularly excited about the appeal Danfoss City has to a much wider audience, including engineers, consultants, politicians, journalists, and bloggers. Environmentalists as well as professional and private end users will also find the site very inspiring.”
Browsing Danfoss City is very much like going on a journey, says Taskin. He says: “As you explore each area, you are presented with engaging videos, fascinating facts, thought-provoking information, and inspiring solutions. Did you know, for instance, that engineering enables supermarkets to provide ‘free’ energy to their local communities? Or that apples are best stored at 90% to 95% humidity?”
Samuel Poulter, head of corporate branding & design, sums up the purposes of Danfoss City with these words: “Danfoss City presents a new and exciting way to talk about Danfoss and engineering in general. It will open people’s eyes to new and innovative solutions that they have not previously considered or associated with our company.”
Danfoss City has been in development for more than a year, involving hundreds of people inside and outside the Danfoss organisation. Danfoss aims to continue to explore new ways of expanding Danfoss City and making it relevant to our many stakeholders.
“Our strategy is to actively use Danfoss City at trade shows, exhibitions, and events as well as in our social media, sales, and marketing activities. Our world is in constant need of new, clever engineering solutions. We want people to understand why and experience the dif¬ference great engineering can make to all of us,” concludes Nielsen.
CASE STUDY 1
Shanghai Tower, the second tallest building in the world, complies with the strictest environmental requirements, and the technologies used to provide heating, ventilation and air-conditioning help achieve this.
So far, 6,700 valves have been installed to control the cooling and heating systems, and they can save up to 20% of the energy used in such systems. Around 660 variable speed drives, which control the speed of the motors in the systems, will contribute with an additional 20-40% of savings.
CASE STUDY 2
The cooling process in supermarkets produces heat and traditionally the “produced” heat goes unused and is simply wasted into the atmosphere. Surplus heat deriving from cooling processes can be recovered as heating source for the store itself or as heating source for local district heating networks. This combined cooling and heating process is increasingly getting deployed in supermarkets as a sustainable and attractive business case. As such it contributes to energy reduction targets of local utilities, as well as to CO2 reduction targets, while providing a new source of income to the supermarket owner.
In the case of a local supermarket close to the Danfoss headquarters, more than EUR 27,000 are directly saved annually on gas. CO2 emissions are reduced by utilising the excess heat from the refrigeration system for hot water and space heating within the store. With a new district heating connection, the local supermarket has one more source of income by selling surplus heat to the local district heating company. Even with a conservative heat value rate of only 25€per MWh, the payback time for the investment is only 18 months. This is an example of how to incorporate district heating as a two-way energy infrastructure to distribute and thereby utilise existing energy which would otherwise have been wasted.
CASE STUDY 3
RENOVATION OPPORTUNITY – COMMERCIAL BUILDINGS IN THE US
In the United States commercial buildings use nearly 20% of all energy, therefore the opportunity for high-performance retrofits is great. As 50% of all buildings in the United States today were built before 1980, the trend in building construction is shifting from new construction to retrofits.
In Pittsburgh, Pa. the U.S. Steel Corporation built a unique headquarters in 1970 that still stands 64 stories above the skyline. While ahead of its time in the 1970s, the building fell behind with mechanical equipment that was installed when kilowatts cost pennies. That’s why the building’s property manager began a series of retrofits using variable speed drives to cut energy costs – resulting in over $1m in energy savings and a greener reputation that is attracting tenants.