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An Analysis of Florida’s Sea Water Cooling Resource

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A study to assess the sea water cooling (SWC) feasibility in southeast Florida was conducted using simulated and measured sea water temperatures. These data were input into a representative SWC system model to quantify potential energy savings over conventional cooling systems. The HYbrid Coordinate Ocean Model was used to characterize near-bottom temperatures statewide, predicting that minimum temperatures needed for effective SWC are closest to the shore off the coasts of Fort Lauderdale and Miami. Numerous in situ data sets recently collected near Fort Lauderdale/Miami are presented alongside several historic data sets to further enhance temperature resource information. These data suggest that a cold water resource with a mean temperature of 8°C‐10°C is present off Fort Lauderdale in 160‐220 m of water and 7°C‐9°C is present off Miami in 200‐300 m of water. Both cold water resources are located approximately 6 km from the shore. These temperatures vary significantly at frequencies between 2 days and 2 weeks, with cooler temperatures during the summer suggesting a seasonal variation. An SWC plant model is presented that was used to predict the electric power needed to operate a generic 10-MW (2,857-ton) AC system, which is compared with a traditional unassisted AC system. The plant model, with 3 years of HYbrid Coordinate Ocean Model temperature data, predicted that, in South Miami, an SWC system can operate using the least amount of average electrical power in the state. At this location, the chilling system is estimated to operate at an average power savings of 86.9%, and a total comfort cooling system is estimated to operate at an average power savings of 58%, when compared with a traditional AC system.

Keywords: SWAC; SWC; marine renewable energy; sea water air conditioning; sea water cooling

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: July 1, 2013

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  • The Marine Technology Society Journal is the flagship publication of the Marine Technology Society. It publishes the highest caliber, peer-reviewed papers on subjects of interest to the society: marine technology, ocean science, marine policy and education. The Journal is dedicated to publishing timely special issues on emerging ocean community concerns while also showcasing general interest and student-authored works.
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