Time and quality were both key factors in Aalborg Forsyning’s delivery of a climate-friendly district cooling system to the IKEA store in Aalborg. A plug-and-play solution allowed for a much quicker start, sparing the climate almost 2000 tonnes of CO2. The cooling station was in operation just six months after the contract was signed, and was developed in close partnership between Krebs A/S, Fenagy A/S and Priess A/S.
When the time came for IKEA to replace the old cooling system on the roof of their big-box store, Aalborg Forsyning had just the solution – a district cooling system that would convert energy from the store into district heating in the summer, and provide heat in the winter through integrated, electrically driven heat pumps that extract heat from the air. It was a solution that would benefit IKEA, the citizens of Aalborg and our climate.
Photos: Aalborg Forsyning
The provision of district cooling was new territory for Aalborg Forsyning, and so they wanted this solution developed, designed and installed as a total or all-in-one delivery.
“We wanted a turnkey, plug-and-play solution, and of course the price and operating costs needed to make sense as well,” explains Lars Riisager, Project Manager at Aalborg Forsyning.
The cooling and heating station is connected to IKEA’s cooling circuit and to Aalborg Forsyning’s district heating network. It has an output of up to 1000 kWh when using surplus heat in the cooling water from IKEA and 1,200 kWh from the heat pump, which extracts heat from the air via a heat exchanger.
The technology is installed in a prefabricated cabin made by the specialists at Priess A/S, measuring 10 x 3.4 m and with a height of 2.8 m. The complete station was delivered as a plug-and-play solution from Fenagy A/S, who fitted all the equipment, including their H1200 heat pump with cooling module.
Aalborg Forsyning thus got their all-in-one delivery and are well on their way to reducing carbon emissions, saving nearly 2000 tonnes over six years according to previous calculations.
The new district cooling station was delivered as a complete module on a flatbed truck from Fenagy’s factory in Lystrup. In just four hours, the station was placed on a sand bed close to IKEA, which Aalborg Forsyning had prepared in advance.
Over the next 8–9 weeks, the station was then connected to IKEA’s cooling circuit, and the pump station was connected to the district heating before the entire solution was then tested and declared ready for operation.
Prior to this, Priess A/S had delivered the technical cabin, including a custom concrete slab with recesses for Fenagy, allowing the heat pump, electrical installations and more to be installed under controlled conditions. At the factory, the cabin was lifted off its concrete slab, which functions as both a foundation and base, and once all the various units had been installed, it was set back in place again.
“It was a major plus that we were able to complete the overall delivery at our factory in Lystrup,” says Henrik Ramlov, Project Manager at Fenagy A/S.
“As a customer, we can trust we will receive high quality knowing that all the components have been assembled at the factory, rather than being assembled on site,” adds Lars from Aalborg Forsyning.
In addition to the technical cabin already mentioned, Priess A/S also supplied an additional cabin to this project, which houses the pump station for district heating. This cabin was delivered to Krebs A/S who, in their capacity as total supplier of the project, was responsible for delivering the complete solution to Aalborg Forsyning.
In addition to the time savings on site, prefabricated solutions also tend to be of a higher quality as they are considerably easier for project managers to follow their production at the factory and thus avoid any mistakes, all while taking steps to optimise their design,” adds Morten Krebs, Director of Krebs A/S.
At Priess A/S, Key Account Manager Kim Ravn Mortensen explains that their cabins are all custom- made in terms of size, door placement and more. Internally, they are equipped with perforated sheets that halve noise levels, so the noise level measured one metre from the cabins is just 37–38 dB. The cabins are insulated, built in a sandwich construction, and can be supplied with exterior cladding if desired – such as in wood or in maintenance-free materials.
“Our technical cabins have a minimal footprint because they can be designed very compactly, plus the roof can also be removed or the entire cabin lifted off its foundation, making it much easier to install or replace large components,” says Kim from Priess A/S.
“The technical cabin from Priess is flexible and space-efficient, and makes a nice alternative to bigger, more traditional cabins. These features are in high demand among district heating companies,” says Henrik Ramlov from Fenagy.
Aalborg Forsyning are extremely satisfied with the solution and the process, and they hope to establish more similar district cooling stations in the future. The Confederation of Danish Industry (DI) and Dansk Fjernvarme have previously estimated that district cooling could represent a potential gain of DKK 10 billion for society.
“After six months of operation, we are very satisfied with this new type of district cooling station,” says Lars Riisager, Project Manager at Aalborg Forsyning. The whole project took just 26 weeks from order placement to a fully operational new technical cabin.
Construction time was thus shortened by several months, and the project manager also notes that the process took the pressure off Aalborg Forsyning as well, as they did not need to construct a traditional, brick building for the station, which would have been both more time consuming and expensive. Plus, they now also have the option to move the cooling station to another location at a later time.
“This delivery to Aalborg Forsyning shows that we are an important partner in the green transition. Our technical cabins are a flexible solution that support the fast and effective execution of climate-friendly initiatives,” concludes Kim Ravn Mortensen from Priess A/S.
Facts about district cooling solution for IKEA Aalborg:
Combined cooling and heating station with a capacity of 1MW (district cooling) and 1.2 MW (heat pump)