Sustainability Office

Sustainable Queen's
Sustainable Queen's

West Campus District Energy Conversion Project

Photo Depicting the new pipeline installation outside Duncan McArthur Hall

New District Heating System

Summer 2019 marked Queen's Universities first step away from the district energy steam system, taking on a $10.5 million retrofit that would replace an inefficient 46-year-old underground steam line with a new system.

Queen`s currently uses steam in order to provide heating to it`s facilities. This steam is produced at the Central Heating Plant along King st. w. This plant houses three large boilers which have the capacity of producing 150,000 lbs of steam each, as well as two cogeneration units which have the capacity of producing 70,000 lbs of steam and 7 megawatts each,

This steam system was a good method of providing heating to the university, but has slowly grown less effective over the years in comparison to newer heating technologies. The university has a plan to transition all of its heating systems to a hot water system which is much more efficient. West Campus was the first campus to make this transition by installing three large condensing boilers at its Refrigeration Plant.

Green House Gas Reductions

Changing the west campus steam lines over to a new hot water steam system is estimated to reduce the Universities GHG footprint by 1,500 metric tonnes of carbon dioxide. This is the equivalent of 3.7 million miles driven by an average passenger vehicle, or 170,000 gallons of gasoline.

On top of green house gas reduction, this retro fit also lowers operational costs significantly. The University now consumes less natural gas with the incorporation of a more efficient heating system. There is also a $30,000 decrease in carbon taxes this year as a result of consuming less natural gas. This cost avoidance is expected to increase to $75,000 per year over the next three years.

Future Implementation of a New District Energy System

Queen`s University plans on slowly transitioning away from their steam district energy system, West Campus was only the first part of campus to see this change happen. In the future, the University plans on installing the proper infrastructure for a hot water distribution system, and replace the steam boilers at the Central Heating Plant, with high efficiency condensing boilers, similar to what was installed in West Campus.