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Seawater Air Conditioning: A Basic Understanding Introduction
Seawater Air Conditioning (SWAC) is an alternate-energy system that uses the cold water from the deep ocean (and in some cases a deep lake) to cool buildings. In some areas it is possible to reduce dramatically the power consumed by air conditioning (AC) systems; SWAC can be a cost-effective and attractive investment. It is an alternate energy for air conditioning.
This paper is an introduction to Seawater Air Conditioning; it describes the benefits, the technology, the areas best suited for this form of energy, some example projects, the economics and the key components of the systems.
Benefits of a SWAC System
The Seawater Air Condition Systems taps into a significant and highly valuable natural energy resource that is available at some coastal locations. The benefits of a seawater air conditioning system include:
• Large energy savings approaching 90%
• Proven technology
• Short economic payback period
• Environmentally friendly
• Costs are nearly independent of future energy price increases.
• No evaporative water consumption.
• Cold seawater availability for secondary applications.
Conventional Air Conditioning Basics
The schematic to the right illustrates a conventional air conditioning system for a large building. A constant flow of cold fresh water is circulated throughout the building (sometimes multiple buildings) for heat removal. As this chilled water moves throughout the building and absorbs heat, its temperature rises from an incoming value of approximately 7-8oC to an outflow value approximately 5oC higher. This warmer water then enters the chiller.
Seawater Air Conditioning
Makai Ocean Engineering, Inc. Makai@makai.com
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