OWAC® is a registered acronym and trade name and stands for ‘Ocean Water Assisted Cooling’. It is a product of Omega Engineering Inc. The founder and owner of Omega Engineering Inc. – Anthony van Sprang – spent many, many years thinking, reading, discussing, gaining experience and experimenting with the use of seawater in airconditioning systems. In this proces there were two breakthroughs; the moment Van Sprang learned how to directly use seawater of temperatures between 25-35 degrees celsius for the cooling process of buildings, and secondly he invented a way to get control of the enormous and devastating coriosivity of seawater.
In a nutshell: an OWAC plant uses ocean water to assist in achieving very high operating efficiency, without the penalty of using scarce and expensive potable water and energy consuming cooling towers.
An OWAC plant uses ocean water as a heat sink, and thus has to deal with the characteristics and properties of ocean water in order to function reliably and up to energetic specifications. Ocean water is distinct from potable water in the sense that it is living water teeming with micro and macro bio organisms, and contains a myriad of elements and chemicals that we normally do not design for in standard cooling systems. This makes ocean water particularly difficult to handle and requires careful planning and engineering to make an OWAC plant work and perform as planned.
The big rewards of an OWAC plant are the extreme low operating cost and overall lifecycle cost, which are the result of using spear point high tech vapor compression technology, combined with precision mechanical engineering, careful material selection and process control technology.
The final result is, when compared to real life conventional air cooled cooling equipment, that these plants deliver three times more cooling capacity for the same amount of consumed energy. In practice this means that the greatest operating expense in the lifecycle of a cooling system is reduced with about 70-75 percent.