Aquarium lifts heat from ocean’s stored energy
The Alaska SeaLife Center has turned off boilers that burn expensive fuel in favor of America’s farthest north seawater heat pump system, which taps a summer’s worth of solar energy stored in Resurrection Bay.
The system sucks in seawater, extracts a few degrees of its warmth and returns it to the ocean.
The upfront costs of the system were about $830,000. But the system is expected to pay for itself in less than nine years, saving at least $15,000 each winter month. It also is expected to keep more than a million pounds of carbon emissions out of the atmosphere each year.
Chief executive officer Tara says the system is working as it was designed.
About 160,000 visitors pass through the Seward center each year to see underwater views of sea lions and harbor seals plus rare seabirds and fish.