My Thoughts on Technology and Jamaica: Doris Engineering Group and Transport and Mining Ministry to test SWAC at Norman Manley International Airport

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Doris Engineering Group and Transport and Mining Ministry to test SWAC at Norman Manley International Airport

Seawater can be used for more than just salt from desalination. Turns out its pretty good at keeping thing cool too!

At least that's the premise of a five month study to be conducted on the feasability of a SWAC (Sea Water Air Conditioning) System at the Norman Manley International Airport as reported in the article “Henry endorses sea water air conditioning study at NMIA”, published Friday, February 02, 2018, The Jamaica Observer.

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Doris Engineering Group, a French company, met with Transport and Mining Minister, Lester “Mike” Henry with a proposal for this idea, which the company is ready to start in February 2018. It's already been funded from France; we're just the guinea pig waiting to sign on the dotted line.

Certainly sounds like the Transport and Mining Ministry is coming up with more progressive developement plans in recent months. This includes the planned move towards Hybrid buses by 2020 as noted in my blog article entitled “Why JUTC going Hybrid indicates removal of 60% import duty on Electric Vehicles”.

So what is Seawater Air Conditioning?

Doris Engineering Group and SWAC – Cooling from the ocean applicable to other companies

Seawater Air Conditioning uses deep cold water from the ocean to replace the need for a cooling agent used in most AC units. This deep cold water is pumped from the sea through a heat exchanger and absorbs heat from the building, cooling the air in the process, as would a normal Air conditioning unit.

However, it’s not such a new idea as this explainer video shows; it’s been tried and tested and is already in use.

Cold water from lakes or rivers can be used and it has the added advantage of a reduction in electric consumption of 80% to 90%. Throw in solar power to power the system and this could be a Net-zero operation.

Hopefully when the water is returned back to the ocean, no pollutants or contaminants are pumped back, as many of these systems use additives to prevent the seawater from causing the pipes to corrode.

Still, the potential for this system is huge. With such amazing cost reductions, it'll be interesting to see it implemented not only at the Norman Manley International Airport but at government facilities located to the sea.

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