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Tests to study viability of utilising two deep geothermal wells for cooling in Masdar City, UAE

Tests to study viability of utilising two deep geothermal wells for cooling in Masdar City, UAE Buildings in Masdar City, Abu Dhabi/ UAE (source: flickr/ Jeremy Thompson, creative commons)
Alexander Richter 21 Jan 2021

Following its acquisition of Masdar City's district cooling company, UAE-based leading district cooling developer Tabreed is planning to test the viability of utilising two deep geothermal wells for a district cooling network.

Several years ago, two deep geothermal wells were drilled in Masdar City in Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates to explore how geothermal energy could be used for cooling purposes. There continues to be questions how one would use “heat” for cooling. The answer lies into a similar technology that can be found in your fridge at home. One uses adsorption chiller systems, with vaporisation of the refrigerant. The options are to utilise temperatures from around 50 degrees Celsius to 100 degrees Celsius and more and this is where geothermal wells deriving fluids with a temperature needed for those systems come into the game.  (learn more about adsorption chillers, here)

News from the United Arab Emirates now report that UAE-based district cooling developer National Central Cooling Company PJSC (Tabreed), has announced that it is expanding its partnership with Masdar. The goal is to develop and connect the infrastructure of Masdar and Tabree in increasing operating synergies further. With the collaboration Tabreed is expanding efforts in bringing efficient cooling to sustainable cities around the world.

In January 2020, Tabreed acquired Masdar City’s district cooling company, a move that is set to provide efficient cooling services to more than 2.7 million sq.m in Masdar City, with an ultimate total capacity of 69,000 Refrigerated Tonnes (RT) under the concession.

As part of the announcement, Tabreed will be testing the two deep geothermal wells in Masdar City, drilled around 10 years ago. With the tests, Tabreed wants to study the viability to use geothermal energy technology for cooling and the possibility to substantially reduce electricity consumption.

“As an industry leader, our strategic partnerships have allowed us to diversify our operations and venture into innovative solutions that support our core business, such as deep geothermal technology, a first in the region. We are committed to developing these solutions to support the growth of sustainable urban communities like Masdar City, and we look forward to the continuation of a highly successful partnership with Masdar,” said Bader Saeed Al Lamki, Tabreed’s Chief Executive Officer.

As a hub for innovation, technology and research and development, Masdar City provides a strategic platform through which Tabreed can test new technologies and progress its strategy of providing efficient cooling to sustainable cities around the world.

Source: Tabreed announcement