Sea Water Air Conditioning (SWAC)

In sea water air conditioning (SWAC), deep sea seawater is used as a heat sink. Since the efficiency of the heat pump improves with the cooling of the heat sink, SWAC can reduce the power requirements of large cooling systems when the temperature of the deep sea water is colder than the wet bulb temperature of the surrounding environment. The concept is similar to that of modern geothermal heat sinks, but it is generally easier to design if a suitable water source is available.

The increased efficiency results in lower energy consumption. In many buildings the seawater is so cold that the cooling part of the air conditioning systems can be switched off under certain environmental conditions and the heat from inside the building can be transferred directly to the seawater heat sink. This is called “free cooling”, but it is not really free, because pumps and fans circulate the seawater and air inside the building.

Another advantage of deep-sea cooling is that it saves energy during peak periods, such as summer afternoons, when a significant proportion of the total load on the power grid is used for air-conditioning.

The most suitable regions for SWAC are thus volcanic islands in tropcial zones, where the water depth increases rapidly and the wet bulb temperature is high. SWAC can help to reduce electric power consumption linked to air conditioning. As electric power on distant islands is most often produced by thermal power generators using fossil fuels, SWAC can help to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and thus global warming.

Dolfines offers following scope of services and supply to its customers : 

  • Dietswell has entered the SWAC market in 2016 based on decades of experience in deepwater risers developed for deepwater O&G offshore industry
  • This activity has been transferred to Dolfines 2019
  • References