Honolulu Seawater Air Conditioning LLC has a very ambitious project in its hands. The huge $240 million project aims to cool the hot Hawaiian city with frigid cold water brought from the ocean’s depth. Aimed for Honolulu’s downtown area, the project will supposedly help reduce the city’s air conditioning electric usage by 75%, while also substantially lowering the use of harmful and ozone depleting refrigerants.
The idea is to use five feet wide pipes to gather water from hundreds of feet under the sea. This frigid water would then be supplied to the city’s air conditioning units. Water thus supplied will be able to cool entire buildings, helping in the objective of cutting down on electric usage for air conditioning.
After the water has done its job, the warmed water will be dumped back into the sea, at a location where it poses minimum risk to nearby aquatic life. The company hopes to move ahead with the project next year, and begin supply to 40 buildings by 2012, slightly relieving the stress on the power grid.