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The Sea Water Air Conditioning in French Polynesia

Date: November 01, 2013 at 10:27 GMT

Pacific Beachcomber Company is a pioneer in the application of renewable energies. The first private complex to be air conditioned by a Seawater air conditioning unit was designed for the Intercontinental Resort Thalasso & Spa of Bora Bora. It is now fully functional and provides the hotel with an environmental friendly supply of AC that not only saves electricity and CO2 emissions, but also saves money for the hotel. This technology, known as SWAC, has thus been proven to be viable both technically and economically, for small or large units, for whole cities (Toronto) or for small hotels.
It is a relatively simple technology, using cold water pumped from the depths of the ocean towards the surface in order to provide cold water for Air conditioning. The complexity of a SWAC project lies in the multiple competencies that are required to make it a success. Many technical challenges need to be addressed when working in a marine environment, especially when environmental issues are important, which is very much the case in coral reef islands.
A SWAC system is very cheap to operate, sea water being free, and can last for 50 years or more. The initial investment however, is relatively high, so that very careful initial planning is necessary, and needs to take into account many different factors like the water characteristics, the oceanography, off shore issues, reef crossing, lagoon environmental problems, etc.
There are not many SWAC systems in the world, but PBSC strongly believes that high oil prices and environmental concerns such as CO2 emissions are going to change that. The Pacific region, with its high energy dependence on fossil fuels, hot climate and unlimited water supply is an ideal region to start deploying SWAC on a larger scale.
With the full success of this first project, PBSC has decided to launch four major SWAC projects in French Polynesia, for the islands of Tetiaroa and Tahiti, and has chosen to work with Creocean (in association with Odewa, DVO and Fimatec, so as to have specialists in every stage) on the Tetiaroa project. 

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