District cooling

As the demand for cooling and energy-efficient solutions is growing, district cooling is becoming an essential part of urban development. District cooling systems provide buildings with cooling which is energy-efficient, cost-effective and environmentally friendly.

District cooling


Anders Dyrelund

Anders Dyrelund

District Heating and Energy Planning Specialist
T: +45 5161 8766
Mikael Bastholm

Mikael Bastholm

Senior Chief Specialist, Cooling & Heat pump systems
M: +45 5161 8732

Being a green and economic alternative to conventional electric chillers, district cooling systems can provide the buildings in an area with chilled water for comfort and process cooling – hand in hand with district heating. Centralising cooling production has many benefits, including reduced maintenance cost, less space needed for cooling purposes, economies of scale and reduction of the total installed capacity.

What is district cooling?

This short movie introduces what district cooling is and how it can be an integrated component in ensuring a sustainable, carbon neutral energy future. It presents the most frequently posed pros and cons, and through testimonials from customers and sector representatives, an analysis of the big potential for district cooling is shared in straightforward, non-technical language.

Production of district cooling

District cooling can be produced on the basis of an optimal combination of electricity, surplus heat and the best available ambient cooling sources, such as cold water or air. Often, the cooling production is furthermore combined with large cooling storage solutions in order to optimize the production and reduce the need for expensive cooling, while taking fluctuating electricity prices into account.

District cooling services

Ramboll is involved in district cooling projects all over the world, benefiting from 40 years of experience with district energy. Choosing the most optima l cooling solution depends greatly on the surrounding environment. Ramboll’s previous and present projects include many different cooling solutions – ranging from snow-based cooling, through ground source cooling to solar heat-based cooling.

Ramboll provides support in all phases of a district cooling project:

  • Identifying the potential: Optimal locations for a district cooling network are mapped
  • Studying the feasibility: Estimating profitability and the technical feasibility of the network
  • Conceptualizing a solution:  Developing an optimal cooling solution 
  • Finalising the design: Detailing the final design, preparing it for construction
  • Following up: Fine tuning the system and expanding the customer base

Mapping profitable district cooling areas

In order to identify the most optimal location of a new district cooling plant within a certain area, Ramboll has developed an automated mapping tool called DCmapper. This tool uses the estimated cooling requirements and geographical location of each building in an area to calculate the economic difference between traditional cooling and a district cooling system.

360° consultancy

Ramboll provides 360 degree consultancy within all fields related to district cooling. As we collaborate closely with our departments of district heating, waste-to-energy, combined heat and power, renewable energy and building installations, we are able to offer optimal solutions, including the most efficient use of heating and cooling sources.

Further information

District cooling – get an overview of your future customers

Automated mapping of profitable district cooling areas - read more


Introductory article on district cooling

The District Cooling Potential by Tarek Barky, Ramboll (Hot|Cool Journal no. 1/2013, pdf, 1 Mb)

Benefits to the surrounding community locally and nationally

Society's stake in district cooling by Jakob Bjerregaard, Ramboll (Hot|Cool Journal no. 1/2013, pdf)

DHC, Smart energy, new solutions

Why district heating and district cooling go hand in hand By Tarek Kim El Barky
and Anders Dyrelund, Ramboll 
(Hot|Cool Journal no. 3/2013, pdf)


Makkah, Saudi Arabia

Makkah District Cooling

A new mega district cooling project will make future pilgrimage to the sacred city of Makkah more comfortable for the many pilgrims who visit the Saudi Arabian city each year.

Show more projects for this service


First Floor, Emerald Building
Oud Metha Road
PO Box 116921, Dubai, UAE
Tel:+971 4 334 3616
Fax:+971 4 334 3617

Mail: info@ramboll.ae

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