Seawater Air Conditioning is defined as a substitute-energy system. It makes use of cold water from deep lakes and ocean to cool buildings. In a few areas, it is possible to lower the energy consumption by air conditioning systems. In this article, we will know more about the seawater air conditioning system and the benefits offered by this technology.
Basics of SWAC
SWAC system involves a continuous flow of cool freshwater that gets circulated in all areas of the building. It is done to remove the heat from the building. Sometimes the technique is used for more than one building.
As the cool water flows throughout the building, it absorbs heat and prevents the rise in the temperature. In this way, the system aids in the removal of heat in the building.
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Advantages of using a SWAC System
There are several benefits of using the SWAC system in the building. This system makes use of the valuable natural energy resource i.e., “water” that is accessible at coastal locations. Here we have mentioned a few advantages of this system.
- Around 90 percent saving of energy savings
- Based on proven technology
- Short payback period
- Cost is independent of hike in future energy prices
- No consumption of water due to evaporation
- Availability of cold seawater for secondary applications.
How does the system work?
The chiller or SWAC system is a refrigeration system that reduces the temperature of the recirculation water. Water enters into the system at 12°C to13°C and laves out at 7-8°C. The system works on the principle of electricity.
It “impels” heat from the cold source to cool the warmer source i.e., the building. The amount of heat that gets eliminated from the building is used by the chiller. It passes via the condenser of the chiller to a heat sink.
The use of the cooling tower is the most traditional form of removing this excess amount of heat from the building. This tower dumps the derived heat into the atmosphere via the process of “evaporative cooling”. Cooling towers take in the freshwater. In case of unavailability of water due to high price, cool air can also be used in its place.
A lot of energy is needed to cool a large building. Sometimes the system is also used to cool multiple buildings. The energy needed by the air conditioning system for the large building is high and dependent on its location and the dominant electricity load of that building.
The need for electricity for the operation of a traditional chiller and cooling is around 0.9 kW/ ton to 1.3 kW/ ton. It is based on the location, oldness of the system, and cooling system.
Due to the benefits offered by this system, it is viewed as an enticing, and an affordable investment option to release heat from building/buildings.