District energy for a whole new town

Anting New Town is part of Shanghai's One City, Nine Towns plan. Designed to accommodate a population of 50,000, it has been built in a modern European style, with a comprehensive district energy system to match.

In fact, Anting's system makes the town unique in China, with district heating and cooling plus domestic hot water supplied via combined building-level substations. SWEP brazed plate heat exchangers (BPHEs) are vital components in the system, which is designed for year-round use in the region's very variable climate.
Anting New Town was designed by German company Albert Speer & Partner as part of mega-city Shanghai's One City, Nine Towns plan. This aims to disperse the area's population more evenly and reduce the pressure on the city center. China's development program strongly emphasizes sustainability and integrated systems, of course, and Anting New Town (opened 2005) puts this into practice. The town's modern European look is therefore complemented by an equally modern district energy system that relies heavily on SWEP BPHEs.

The system covers 250 buildings in the town, representing some 2500 apartments. Each building has a substation employing three BPHEs – one each for space heating (model B12, 40-50 kW), domestic hot water (B12, 30 kW) and cooling (B120T, 60 kW). Anting's system makes the town unique in China, with district heating and cooling plus domestic hot water supplied via combined building-level substations. Reliable year-round operation is essential to cope with the region's climatic extremes of heat and cold.

The system is popular with residents. Individual metering and the building-level substation concept deter illegal tapping. Water losses are negligible, and little topping-up is required. Corrosion and rust are therefore not issues because so little new oxygenated water is introduced into the secondary side. Combined with the inherently high-turbulence, anti-fouling properties of SWEP BPHEs, this means maintenance requirements are minimal.
Since 2005, the domestic hot water and cooling systems have not needed attention. The space heating units have undergone quick and simple cleaning in place (CIP), which will also be used for the cooling system should it become necessary. As a precaution, the BPHEs are back-flushed occasionally to remove the small quantities of sludge and particles that accumulate in the network. The temperatures indicated on the substation control cabinets are used as a simple guide to when back-flushing is necessary.

Benefits. In this solution, SWEP BPHEs offer:

  • The compactness and energy efficiency demanded by sustainable district energy substations
  • Highly turbulent flow for minimal fouling and scaling, maintaining high performance and minimizing maintenance
  • Easy cleaning in place, saving downtime and expense