Hawaii using their biggest natural resource for renewable energy

Using a technology already being used by some early adopting cites like Ithaca and Toronto, Honolulu will be putting in a sea water air conditioning system (SWAC). Construction will begin in September; after everything is said and done this new cooling system could save Hawaii up to 70 million kilowatt-hours of energy per year.

A pipe line will run 1600 ft into the ocean and extract cold sea water. The water will then run through a cooling station on shore, the only visible part of the system, where it will go through heat exchangers. While going through the heat exchangers, the cool temperature will then be transferred to the fresh water, which circulates in a closed pipe system. This pipe system distributes the water to commercial buildings in Honolulu, connecting with the building’s existing air conditioning systems. The warmed seawater is then diffused back into the ocean at a depth of 150 feet.

These kinds of systems increase energy efficiency and also reduce cooling costs. After Cornell University in Ithaca, New York installed their lake water air conditioning, they had an 86 percent reduction in energy use for cooling the campus.

Hawaii is excited for their advance in renewable energy technology. For more information click here.