Toronto Air Conditioning To Be Powered By Lake Water
June 20, 2002 Page A18
Water from the frigid depths of Lake Ontario will soon
be cooling many of Toronto's downtown buildings, following
the groundbreaking yesterday of a novel $180-million project
to use the lake as a giant air conditioning system for
The deep lake cooling project, as it has been dubbed,
is one of the first commercial efforts in the world to
draw on the enormous reservoir of cold naturally available
in lake water to replace conventional air conditioning.
The cooling system is expected to be operating by the
summer of 2004, and has already been chosen to supply
air conditioning in such showcase buildings as the Air
Canada Centre and the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.
The number of buildings on the system could eventually
swell to about 100.
Enwave District Energy Ltd., the project owner, calculates
that the air pollution reduction from the system will
be the equivalent of taking 5,000 to 8,000 cars off the
The project was lauded yesterday by conservationists,
including Robert F. Kennedy Jr., a well-known environmentalist
and scion of the famous U.S. political family.
"This technology . . . is going to be an example
to the rest of the world of what we can do if governments
want to be far-sighted, if industry wants to be far-sighted
and visionary," Mr. Kennedy said.
The deep lake cooling proposal has been around since
the mid-1980s, when city officials and energy experts
first began to ponder if it made economic sense to use
cold water from Lake Ontario for air conditioning. Lake
Ontario is the smallest of the Great Lakes, but it is
deep and cold.
The key to the project is a plastic pipe more than 1.5
metres in diameter that will extend like a giant straw
4.7 kilometres into Lake Ontario, south of the Toronto
Islands, where it will be used to suck icy water from
a depth of 85 metres. After it is cleaned, the cold lake
water passes through a heat exchanger -- a system of big
metal sleeves -- where it will draw the heat from a separate
stream of water used for the air conditioning in buildings.