Seawater District Cooling

In the tropics more than half of the electricity is used for air-conditioning. Apart from the high energy usage, the electricity is often produced with expensive and often unsustainable fuel.

Bluerise provides a sustainable cooling alternative, known as Seawater District Cooling (SDC) or Seawater Air-Conditioning (SWAC). By pumping ice-cold water (4-6°C) from 1000 meter depth, we cool buildings. Think of houses, hotels, data centers, airports and greenhouses in close proximity to each other. SDC is 10 times more efficient than the power-hungry conventional chiller systems. It saves 90% of the energy used for cooling. This translates into cost savings that can go up to more than 60%.

Working principle
A SDC systems consists of a pipeline that brings up deep seawater at a low temperature. This cold seawater is passed through a heat exchanger where fresh water is chilled and distributed through a closed-loop to the building’s cooling system, replacing conventional chillers or cooling towers. The sole use of electricity comes from the pump, which consumes as little as 10% of that used by a conventional chiller. The figure on the right shows a schematic of a SDC system.

Economic and sustainable cooling
The SDC systems replace conventional energy intensive cooling units. Its payback period is relatively short in tropical islands, in particular if the air-conditioning is consumed all day throughout the year.

The sustainable and predictable ocean energy resource provides coastal cities with an opportunity to significantly reduce their energy costs. SDC is not dependent on the outside air temperature or humidity, but on the consistent supply of cold deep seawater. This eliminates extreme spikes in power demand.

Established cooling technology
The use of cold water to cool buildings has already been implemented at several locations, such as Stockholm, Sweden and Amsterdam. These systems have demonstrated successful operation for many years with little need for maintenance.

Summarized
The benefits of Seawater District Cooling (SDC) systems for customers, the energy infrastructure and the environment are:

  • Cost benefits from reduced capital and operating costs with cooling that is 10 times higher in efficiency compared to traditional comfort cooling
  • Stability in future energy costs by using freely available deep seawater
  • Reduction in peak power demand in the electricity grid
  • Significantly reduction in CO2 emissions

District Cooling System concept (click to enlarge)

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