We’ve really begun tapping into the ocean as a source of renewable power, and for good reason. Waves generate power and the surface represents a huge area of untapped “land” for future settlers if we can figure out how to build floating cities. One interesting resource that the ocean provides is the cold temperature from its frigid depths. We spend an incredible amount of energy trying to cool things down, yet the ocean cools down millions of gallons of seawater naturally.
Honolulu is looking to tap into this resource by creating a system that will pump deep seawater up into buildings to keep the hotels and resorts air-conditioned. Lead by the designers at Honolulu Seawater Air Conditioning, these architects will build pipes that stretch into the ocean. These pipes will pump cold water into the city, and then replace it with the warmer used water. Despite the dramatic temperature change, the warmer recycled seawater will not harm the local aquatic wildlife, thereby dramatically reducing its footprint.
This plan is extremely green compared to the current, standard air conditioning methods that most hotels use. They expect to reduce electricity consumption by as much as 75%, which includes a drastic reduction in carbon emissions and ozone-depleting refrigerants. Altogether, the plan represents a step up in just about every category imaginable. It’s cheaper, greener, and uses a readily accessible resource. This green solution represents a great alternative, because high-powered cooling is a common demand for tropical, sea-side locations. While deep sea cooling unfortunately cannot be utilized efficiently by inland communities, they a perfect for islands such as Hawaii. Hopefully, Honolulu will be the first of many island communities to use seawater cooling.