Cold Seawater Used For Air Conditioning


Makai Ocean Engineering known for its SeaWater Air Conditioning (SWAC) has completed a feasibility study for the district cooling system offering economic and environmental benefits.

Caribbean.jpgPhoto: Makai Ocean

SeaWater Air Conditioning (SWAC) makes use of available cold deep seawater to provide air conditioning in one or more buildings.  This system can also use cold lake or river water as the cold source having a temperature of as 5°C or 41°F offering economic and environmental benefits.  Makai Ocean Engineering has huge experience in SWAC design and has designed a upgraded district cooling software.  This is a sophisticated computer model called METHODTM, Makai Economic, Thermal and Hydraulic Optimization and Design software that can evaluate the relative economic value of two alternative energy systems with different capital and operating costs.  Makai have carried out a feasibility study for the district cooling system that utilizes SWAC.  This study was appointed by Development Bank of Latin America (CAF) and financially sponsored by Agence Française de Développement (AFD).  The study has analyzed eight locations in the Caribbean and zeroed down on following two sites for further work.

  • Montego Bay in Jamaica
  • Puerto Plata in the Dominican Republic

SWAC system replaces the conventional chillers used in Air conditioning systems and reduces their electrical consumption and costs of cooling.

The benefits of SWAC include:

  • Large energy saving: This is 90%profitable compared to conventional A/C.
  • Low, stable operating costs: almost entirely independent of volatile energy prices.
  • Proven technology: deep seawater systems have operated for over 28 years continuously.
  • Environmentally friendly: reduces greenhouse gas emission and less fuel and water consumption.
  • Secondary uses: cold, nutrient-rich seawater is available for other applications.

Makai has presented its finding at the first Caribbean deep seawater cooling conference organized by CAF, at Santo Domingo in November 2014, .