Escaping the summer heat with a quick dip in the lake is nothing new, but for the University Health Network (UHN), keeping its building cool with lake water is fairly recent.  In April of this year, with much of the world focussed on dealing with pandemic preparations and lockdowns, Enwave’s Deep Lake Water Cooling (DLWC) system was “turned-on” at the UHN’s Princess Margaret Cancer Centre (PM).

Replacing the cooling system in a large, still occupied hospital is a challenge during “normal times”, but to do so in the middle of a pandemic while ensuring the health and safety of staff and patients is a testament to the commitment, hard work, and ingenuity of the project team, contractors and numerous hospital departments both directly and indirectly impacted by the project; without their support and collaboration, completion of the project would not have been possible.  But the effort was well worth it.

PM is not the first UHN location to be cooled by the DLWC district system.  Toronto Rehab – University Centre (UC) was connected around 2010 as part of a major renovation, and Toronto General Hospital’s (TG) DLWC connection came online in May 2018, just in time for the Victoria Day long weekend and an early heatwave.  Though connecting PM to DLWC posed its own unique challenges, the reasons for doing so were the same as for UC and TG – improve cooling reliability, replace inefficient infrastructure and reduce utility costs.  And though we shouldn’t be surprised at seeing the results of connecting PM to DLWC (our feasibility study, after all, included detailed energy modelling and utility forecasts to help us estimate cooling loads and predict energy savings) seeing the energy savings play-out week-after-week, kilowatt-hour by kilowatt-hour still tickles my low-carbon energy manager fancy.

In this case, a picture is not only worth a thousand words…it’s worth over 3 million kilowatt-hours saved, and counting!