Fontvieille’s clean heating and air conditioning network prevents the release of 6,000 tonnes of CO2 into the atmosphere every year. This system, which is good for the planet, is also particularly innovative: it powers the Fontvieille district by using waste.
“The way this central system works is by steam energy which comes from incinerating waste. It was constructed in 1983, we put it into operation in 1987. The goal is to produce heating and cooling for Fontvieille buildings, and now some new buildings. Energy which is used for acclimatization, cooling industrial processes, heating and primarily clean hot water. We distribute it to buildings such as the Fontvieille stadium, the Carrefour commercial centre, the Heliport, hotels and other commercial buildings. We use a trigeneration system, which is the simultaneous production of electricity, heat and cooling by using waste.” said Christian Philipon, in charge of CFU (Chaud et Froid Urbains) at Smeg
A short distance from the plant is the ocean, under the Heliport, where a complete Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion system is installed. It pumps 100,000 m3 of water per year off the coast of Monaco. Thermal energy from the ocean contributes to heating and cooling the 2,200 homes which are connected to the network.
“Here, at part of the Heliport, cold water is distributed into cooling systems. It allows us to create a line of exchange, which is currently in effect. We take in ocean water, it passes through the exchangers and changes temperature,” said one of the workers at the renewable energy plant.
“It’s an industrial system, we pump ocean water up to 800 meters off the coast. How come? Because at this distance and depth of 110 meters, we find water which is 14 or 15 degrees all year round and can be used as it is. If we pumped closer, it would be 28 or 29 degrees in the summer and difficult to use. This water, after we use its energy, using exchangers in the heliport, and after a transfer loop that is used in all Fontvieille, comes back here in the plant, and this energy allows us to cool the production units I have behind me. If we do not have enough steam energy that comes from re-using waste, we can operate our thermal pumps, and use the thermal energy from the ocean,” said Christian Philipon.
The combined use of pumps and heat from waste powers over 90% of heating and over 30% of air conditioning in Fontvieille.