One way to increase the efficiency of a building’s heating and cooling central plant is to not have one at all! On April 11th myself and a small group of 5 or so students learned that many buildings in Markham get central heating and cooling from the Markham District Energy plant.
Located on the corner of Warden Avenue and the 407 there is a central plant with boilers, chillers and combined heating & power generators. These pump hot or cold water through a network of pipes kilometers long. Each building connected to Markham District Energy network has a heat exchanger that transfers the energy to their load. Efficiency is increased because the plant has well trained and experienced staff that always maintain peak system efficiency, along with combined heat and power capabilities.
It was a pleasure to have a guided tour around MDE from Craig Graham, you could tell he was passionate about their operations along with the concept of district energy in general.