Analysis of district cooling system with chilled water thermal storage in hot summer and cold winter area of China

  • Lun ZhangEmail author
  • Jun Jing
  • Mengfan Duan
  • Mingyang Qian
  • Da Yan
  • Xiaosong Zhang
Research Article


A typical district cooling system (DCS) with a chilled water storage system is analyzed in hot summer and cold winter area in China. An analysis method concerning operation modes is proposed based on measured data, which is obtained by long term monitoring and on-site measurements of cooling season. The DCS operates at partial load for a large proportion of the cooling time; in particular, the partial-load rate (PLR) can be less than 25% for more than 50% of the total cooling season. In the night, PLR reaches 5% of the peak load. Thus, it is critical to achieve efficient operation under partial-load conditions of the DCS. Installation of chilled water thermal storage presents a solution to improve the working condition of the DCS and chillers. From the beginning to the end of the cooling season, the DCS operation can be summarized by typical operation modes according to cooling demand and chiller operation. For each mode, the base-load chiller operated at a high-load rate, with an average value of 0.88, and the coefficient of performance (COP) remained in a small range, between 4.2 and 5.2. The average energy efficiency ratio (EER) of the DCS for the cooling season was 3.65 and 3.81 for Years A and B, respectively. With respect to the economics, chillers used 90.2% of off-peak electricity, at only half the price of peak electricity.


district cooling system thermal storage energy performance load characteristics operation mode 

List of symbols


equivalent specific heat of water at constant pressure (J/(kg·K))


coefficient of performance (—)


energy efficiency ratio (—)


power input (kW)


partial-load rate (%)


heat flow (kW)


daily cooling demand (MWh)


hourly cooling demand (MWh)


temperature (°C)


unbalance rate (%)


volume flow rate of water (m3/h)


density of water (kg/m3)


load rate of chiller (—)







water pump


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This study was supported by the China National Key R&D Program (No. 2016YFC0700100).


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Copyright information

© Tsinghua University Press and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lun Zhang
    • 1
    Email author
  • Jun Jing
    • 1
  • Mengfan Duan
    • 2
  • Mingyang Qian
    • 2
  • Da Yan
    • 2
  • Xiaosong Zhang
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Energy and EnvironmentSoutheast UniversityNanjingChina
  2. 2.Department of Building Science, School of ArchitectureTsinghua UniversityBeijingChina

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