A Feasibility Study of an Integrated Air Conditioning , Desalination and Marine Permaculture System in Oman
Deep Seawater AC (SWAC) is an emerging technology that uses deep water from below the thermocline to cool water for district air conditioning purposes and can also support desalination plants and marine permaculture. Such an integrated system passes engineering and economic feasibility tests for Muscat deployment in Oman. This technical analysis is reviewed and discussed including local bathymetry, thermocline, nutricline, climate, and ecology data. Oman is uniquely positioned to utilize commercially-proven SWAC and also has demand for desalination and restored fisheries that would benefit from Marine Permaculture Arrays (MPAs). Three air conditioning systems of each 35 MW will serve district cooling using cold input water at 4 °C, available at a depth of 1800 m. Such a SWAC system can be four to ten times more efficient electrically than traditional air conditioning systems, with commensurate CO2 emission reductions. The return seawater will be warmed by the sea return to above 20 °C and will irrigate kelp forests and other seaweed growing on submerged MPAs, providing habitat and food for forage fisheries such as sardines, for example. Using SWAC systems in conjunction with MPAs and desalination plants can mitigate climate change and create new industries.