Tri-generation in action

Metropolitan’s district cooling network at King’s Cross has now gone live. Serving the area north of the Regent’s Canal, the network will provide carbon-efficient cooling ultimately to four commercial and three residential buildings, and has been designed to enable later expansion to further buildings and customers. The new district cooling network completes the implementation of tri-generation – the harnessing together of heat, power and cooling – at King’s Cross.

District cooling offers important benefits to the residents and commercial management companies at King’s Cross. The centralised cooling system, consisting of the Cooling Pod and pipe network, removes the need to install and manage separate systems for each building, lowering running costs and assisting buildings to achieve higher BREEAM ratings.

The location for the Cooling Pod at King’s Cross presented a number of design, engineering and building challenges. It occupies a narrow strip of land next to the HS1 Channel Tunnel Rail Link (CTRL). Maximising the limited space available to accommodate the cooling plant and towers was the first challenge and required an innovative design with a cantilevered first floor. The second challenge was to eliminate any risk of pluming drifting across the rail line and affecting train operation. The utilisation of three different types of chillers – absorption, water-cooled and air-cooled – together with a sophisticated Building Management System resolved these issues and optimised the cost- and carbon-efficient running of the network.