Local engineering company receives international energy awards
The Ocean Water Assisted Cooling (OWAC) project of Curaçao’s engineering company Omega Engineering Inc, continues to gain international recognition. The latest credit as National Winner for the Energy Globe Award is the third international reward that the company has received for its groundbreaking technological invention. Anthony van Sprang founder of the company feels honored and is excited about the advantages that the OWAC system can offer.
“Our technology gives more energy-saving than all the modern energy-saving air conditioners on the market”, says the inventive engineer. The international acknowledgment for this advantage is growing. In 2017 Van Sprang received the title of ‘Energy Engineer of the Year’ for Latin America and the Caribbean from the American Association of Energy Engineers, based in Atlanta. This year he figured on the cover of the July edition of the magazine ‘Enterprise Technology Review’. The magazine describes the OWAC project a technological harmony with nature.
The company is now listed among the national winners of the Austrian Energy Globe Award, one of the most prestigious global awards for sustainability worldwide. It represents Curaçao with its OWAC technology. OWAC is a hyper-efficient industrial cooling system for islands in the tropical region. It is specifically adequate for the Caribbean islands and comparable arid regions and can reduce air cooling costs up to 60% or more. This cooling machine can handle the treated seawater, without any corrosion damaging the internal mechanics of the chiller. So there is no need for a cooling tower, chemical treatment, potable water consumption, and a large pump for the condenser water.
For this reason, the technology is considered sustainable and suitable for use in remote areas. As a Caribbean island, Curaçao has a year-round hot and humid climate. Tourism is one of the major industries, with ongoing developments in hotel construction and supporting industries and their housing requirements on the island. However, the economic and environmental cost of cooling in these regions is very high as some areas are not connected to the electricity grids, making them dependent on electricity from diesel generators.
There are efforts to increase electricity production through wind and solar plants but there are still invariants in the distribution of the electricity, leaving some hotels without power.The pilot project for OWAC was executed in a government building close to the sea where the energy consumption dedicated to cooling with the old system used to be about 45 Watt per square meter. After the installation of the OWAC system, the energy consumption dropped to 9.5 Watt per square meter, a reduction of 79% in energy consumption. The technology is designed in such a way that a purpose- and custom-designed ionization system prevents any settlement of marine life in the intake and filtration system. The specially adapted custom-built chillers are equipped with the correct material sequences to withstand the natural corrosiveness of seawater.
The technological development has led to the combination of ocean water with high technology, eliminating the corrosive effect of ocean water, which produces a sustainable long-term solution for economic industrial cooling to the islands. The solution is bankable and in general, has a return of investment of between 1.6 and 5.6 years. It is also scalable and portable due to a modular setup of the required cooling capacity in the application.
If Omega Engineering Inc is selected for the Energy Globe Award, this will be the third international recognition for OWAC technology. A clear sign that Curaçao provides an adequate location for the development and testing of groundbreaking technological solutions.