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Lagoons and heat sinks

Chilean company says its closed circuit sustainable cooling system has implications for district cooling

| | Feb 7, 2012 | 2:58 pm
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Chilean company says its closed circuit sustainable cooling system has implications for district cooling

Dubbed as a new industrial application, the Crystal Lagoons technology, developed by Chilean innovator Fernando Fischmann, CEO and founder of the company, was presented at the World Future Energy Summit (WFES), held in Abu Dhabi from January 16 to 19. The technology for cooling industrial and thermal power plants, eliminates marine pollution from cooling-dependent industries, which is critical for the Arabian Gulf, Crystal Lagoons Corp claimed, and added that the technology achieved significant energy savings and a reduction in CO2 emissions, generating environmental benefits for mining, energy and industrial companies.

To date, Crystal Lagoons Corp reportedly has 19 projects under way in countries such as Peru, Finland, India, the United States and Saudi Arabia and Chile.

“The enormous interest is explained by the great need to implement cooling systems, which are both economically profitable and of high environmental impact,” explained Joaquin Konow, Development Manager, Crystal Lagoons Corp. “Today, our projects go beyond just power plants, since the cooling problem transcends to other industries, such as thermo-solar plants, foundries and data centres.”

Speaking of the technology’s relevance to the world in general and the region in particular, the company pointed out that the majority of thermal generation processes use huge volumes of seawater for cooling, captured from the ocean and later returned to it at a considerably higher temperature, creating a major environmental problem by destroying marine life during the water suction process and causing severe disruption to the ecosystem when it returns hot water to the sea. In addition, during the process, valuable energy is dispersed into the environment, thus contributing to global warming and climate change, thus severely damaging the biosphere. Juxtaposed against this, the sustainable cooling technology solves the problem, allowing the creation of large crystalline lagoons, which dissipate the heat through a closed cooling circuit for electricity generation plants, and the water is later returned to the lagoon that acts as a heat sink and at the same time as a reservoir of energy, the company claimed. In this way, cogeneration is allowed, since the previously wasted energy is used for convenient purposes. In addition, the process also makes it possible to enter the Carbon Credits market. The company further explained that the innovation enables thermoelectric plants to completely disconnect from the sea and other natural sources through a more efficient system than the traditional cooling towers, achieving lower installation costs and low consumption of make-up water and energy.

“As this is a closed system with high quality water, the lagoon increases its temperature up to a steady state, creating a reserve of thermal energy, which can then be used in a number of processes, such as heating, residential and industrial hot water, thermal desalination, greenhouse heating, wood drying and industrial pre-heating, thus contributing to the economic development of the regions, where power stations with this sustainable cooling system are established,” emphasised Konow.

The implications are huge in the context of the UAE, where around 1,000 power stations operate, using more than 168 billion litres of water a day, Crystal Lagoons Corp pointed out. Explaining the collateral benefits, the company said that the warm crystalline lagoons can be used for recreational purposes, as the technology allows the creation of tourist attractions and improving of the landscape.

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