US Navy explores seawater air conditioning

Makai Ocean Engineering, Inc has completed a contract by the US Office of Naval Research (ONR) through the Hawaii Natural Energy Institute (HNEI) to research and develop Seawater Air Conditioning (SWAC) technology.

Makai’s SWAC study produced a software tool that is capable of assessing the feasibility of a SWAC system anywhere in the world.

SWAC is a method of providing cold air conditioning to buildings using a district cooling system that uses an available cold water reservoir, usually deep cold water from a lake or ocean. The technology can provide air conditioning using about one-tenth of the energy required for conventional air conditioning. The Navy has recently expressed interest in implementing SWAC district cooling systems at island bases using the Energy Savings Performance Contract (ESPC) model.

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