Seawater District Cooling

Up to 90% of the electricity used by conventional cooling systems in tropical areas can be saved by using the the inexhaustible and cold (4-6 °C) deep seawater available off the coast of many islands and tropical coastal regions. Seawater Air-Conditioning (SWAC) and district energy systems already in operation around the world have proven this potential. Utility scale savings can be maximized by combining SWAC and district energy systems into Seawater District Cooling (SDC) systems.

SDC systems replace conventional energy intensive cooling units of large A/C users in close proximity to each other. This sustainable and predictable resource provides coastal cities with an opportunity to significantly reduce their energy costs.

SWAC and SDC systems provide several systemic benefits for the environment, customers, energy infrastructure and economy. Some of these benefits are:

Environmental benefits

  • Considerably reduced energy consumption (up to 90%)
  • Significantly less CO2 emissions and decreased emissions of ozone-depleting refrigerants


Customer benefits

  • SWAC and SDC as alternative to conventional air conditioning reduce electricity consumption and costs.
  • The system eliminates the need for chillers, cooling towers, pumps and other individual systems reducing maintenance and operation.
  • Improved architectural design flexibility due to the lack of chillers and (noisy) condensers


Public Infrastructure

  • Peak power electric demand reduction. depending on the design SDC can reduces power demand in new development by 50% to 90%
  • Reduction in government power sector costs. SWAC and SDC systems reduces and replaces the capital investment required for additional power generation, transmission and distribution infrastructure
  • Enabling other deep seawater industries, such as agriculture and aquaculture.


Economic advantages

  • Higher efficiency compared to traditional comfort cooling
  • Stability in future energy costs by using freely available deep seawater
  • New infrastructure that could attract new property development. For future building connections, the capital costs decrease substantially
  • Economies of scale due to the setup of centralized plants instead of individual cooling plants in each building
  • Reduced capital and operating costs.
  • Cost benefits from substantially lower electricity usage and reduced maintenance.

District Cooling System concept (click to enlarge)

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