Dubai, UAE: In observation of the UAE Innovates Week 2021, Emirates Central Cooling Systems Corporation (Empower), the world’s largest district cooling services provider, emphasized that it will proceed with investments in innovative and revolutionary technologies for the district cooling industry in order to keep pace with the vision of wise leadership and the state’s goals for the coming 50 years. The UAE Innovates Week 2021 is being held from 21 – 27 February under the patronage of HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.
Last year, Empower has announced the successful full swing operation of the world’s first unmanned district cooling plant that is using unprecedented AI based technologies and will go on to serve the residents of Dubai’s Jumeirah Village Circle. This unique third generation plant currently serves 90 buildings in the area and this will increase to 110 with a total cooling capacity of 49,000 RT by end of 2021.
Empower has won many international awards for its innovations, including the latest two awards received from the International District Energy Association (IDEA), USA for its remarkable contributions to developing technologies for increasing the operational efficiency of district cooling industry and for adopting international infrastructure systems in providing district cooling services with international standards. The company’s aim is to disseminate this modern technology not only in the country, but also in many developing cities around the world to reduce carbon emissions.
Further, in recognition of the role played by the company and its CEO in all such great achievements and innovations in the global district cooling industry and in advancing the standards of sustainability in the sector, Empower has also won two golden awards in the 12th edition of the Annual Golden Bridge Business and Innovation Awards 2020, in addition to other global awards Empower has received for its innovations based on artificial intelligence.
A Culture of Innovation
Since its inception, a culture of innovation has been an integral part of the company’s corporate strategies according to the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, Ahmad bin Shafar, CEO of Empower, said. “The company’s relentless efforts to adopt innovative solutions, its continuous development of technologies, and the employment of revolutionary innovations in its work run in line with the vision of Dubai’s leadership that aims at creating tools and finding means that help us invest in opportunities and create a better future for the coming generations”, he added.
Bin Shafar has also pointed out that all the 84 plant rooms of Empower across Dubai are controlled by the Command Control Centre (CCC), which has the capability of reading more than a million data related to cooling towers, chillers, transformers, water supplies etc. using advanced SCADA systems. The Centre also features a highly efficient smart network that provides a precise and quick response to any urgent situation in company’s district cooling plants. Recently, Empower has enhanced the capability of it’s Command Control Centre by establishing a new system, ‘Parallel Working environment (PWE)’, which functions as a redundant system of CCC by way of having an alternate remote operation of the plants in order to ensure business continuity through having continues and close visibility of district cooling plant operations. The new and alternative PWE technology relies on a fully independent system equipped with cutting-edge technologies, and will provide self-control for all the operations of the Command Control Centre.
Empower’s CEO stressed that the economic benefits are among the most important outcomes of relying on modern technologies in the district cooling sector. This is in addition to advancing the efficiency of the performance of the system.
In a bid to help to save the time and effort of it’s customers, Empower has developed an electronic services strategy that allow the customers to carry out most of their transactions without visiting Empower branches. Services provided include paying bills, reviewing past bills, registering for Empower services, registering and tracking requests, and viewing consumption rates online. In 2020, Empower has become the first district cooling company in the region to launch electronic registration for its customers. The company has recorded 560,000 electronic transactions performed by its customers last year.
Thermal Energy Storage:
The company uses innovative technology in thermal energy storage (TES). It harnesses a number of technologies to store thermal energy for later use. The stored energy is then used to offset the energy demand between day and night. The stored thermal energy can be kept at a temperature that is higher (hotter) or lower (cooler) than the surrounding temperature. The TES technology ultimately helps to reduce the load on State’s power grid by optimizing water inflow and outflow of district cooling plants.
Empower provides district cooling services to more than 1,252 buildings, catering to more than 140,000 customers, with a total cooling capacity of 1.64 million Refrigeration Tons (RT). The Company offers eco-friendly district cooling services to a number of high-profile developments, such as Dubai Waterfront, Bluewaters, Dubai International Financial Centre, Jumeirah Lake Towers, Palm Jumeirah, Discovery Gardens, Ibn Battuta Mall and many others.