Wasavé Intends to Harness LNG’s Cold Waste Energy to Power Cooling Systems Efficiently
BY DANIAL FAUZI
NATURAL gas is an essential energy source in this modern age. Due to its efficiency and being cleaner as a fossil fuel than coal and oil, applications of natural gas can be found everywhere. Domestic uses include cooking and heating, whilst industrial and commercial applications like electricity generation and the manufacture of plastics are commonplace.
On the other hand, cooling systems are essential to keep machines running and maintain a comfortable work environment, especially in warm tropical climates. The issue is that cooling systems consume more energy at the cost of climate change, emitting double the amount of Greenhouse Gases (GHG) than aviation and shipping combined. As populations and industry in tropical areas increase, such GHG emissions are also expected to increase, negatively impacting climate change.
Likewise, natural gas is generally transported via pipelines, but recently, in Malaysia, natural gas, in a liquified form is now available in small quantities and can be supplied in tanks. To deliver gas in liquified form, it is first cooled to cryogenic temperatures of around -160 degrees Celsius, occupying only 1/600 of the volume of natural gas in its gaseous state.
This is liquefied natural gas (LNG), and in this state, it is easier to transport and more practical to store. Indeed, Malaysia is one of the top five LNG producers, internationally.
Recently, a group of like-minded Malaysian entrepreneurs began thinking about how to deliver improved large-scale solutions that simultaneously meet the high industrial demands of cooling whilst also positively contributing to the global climate agenda.
Their solution is to harness the freezing temperatures associated with LNG and considered a waste product in the regasification process of the liquified natural gas, and use this as an input to cooling systems.
LNG IS COOL, ‘COLDGROW’ IS COOLER
The individuals behind this undertaking are from Wasavé, a homegrown start-up focusing on energy efficiency technologies.
“Wasavé has been in the industry since 2020. We focus on developing and delivering modular energy efficiency concepts by harnessing LNG-based options for users requiring cleaner and/or increased quantities of energy,” said CEO Munira Shahrul Baharin.
Recently, Wasavé introduced their proprietary Coldgrow technology that harnesses LNG’s waste cold energy to provide sustainable and cost-effective cooling.
As conventional chillers powered by electricity or gas consume more energy, Wasavé’s Coldgrow technology replaces these traditional cooling methods with their proprietary LNG cooling system, potentially yielding 20-40 per cent savings in total energy bills reducing CO2 emissions by 22-35 per cent.
A COOL COLLABORATION
The Coldgrow CGR energy system was recently launched by Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Chang Lih Kang at an event at the Malaysian Industry-Government Group for High Technology (MIGHT) Partnership Hub in Cyberjaya.
This launch served as a milestone to mark the collaborative efforts between MIGHT and Wasavé to tackle and address the issues of providing alternative solutions in large-scale energy efficiency, climate change, food security and smart city planning.
This collaboration originated from MIGHT’s reliance on a 25-year-old district cooling service (DCS) operating in Cyberjaya. To provide some leadership in the area of large scale energy efficiency solutions, MIGHT engaged with Wasavé to review their energy consumption patterns and to propose a solution that would reduce energy costs and deliver improved climate change related metrics.
“Wasavé responded by accelerating their research, development and design plans for their Coldgrow CGR energy system. The collaboration with MIGHT allowed Wasavé to build a prototype facility to test its ideas whilst safely and consistently recirculating LNG to meet MIGHT’s cooling demands, effectively replacing the DCS with a more cost-effective and environmentally cleaner solution.
“This collaboration also focuses on solutions that address highland-to-lowland food security. At MIGHT, Wasavé’s versatile Coldgrow CGR energy system will power a modern, smart greenhouse proof-of-concept (POC) facility.
“This system will be an integral component of the Coldgrow Intelligent Cryogenic Environmental (ICE) Solutions being developed by Wasavé,” said Munira.
A COOL CONCEPT FOR A GREENER FUTURE
With a working system in place, it is hoped that this project and collaboration will usher new research and development opportunities for MIGHT and Wasavé to implement future projects for Malaysia and the region.
Munira pointed out that the attractive element of the Coldgrow technology was its modularity and versatility, allowing it to be deployed across various sectors and facilities within the country and neighbouring countries.
Munira added: “We are endowed with different energy resources – oil, gas, wind, solar or hydropower. The energy transition journey towards net zero is about optimising various energy resources to supplement our energy needs efficiently and sustainably.
“Through our Coldgrow Energy Efficiency system, Wasavé aims at being a catalytic enabler, innovating ways in which industries can generate and consume energy efficiently. Energy efficiency enables more competitive products and services whilst reducing emissions and improving energy security.”
Chang commended MiGHT’s efforts in adhering to the nation’s aspiration towards a Net Zero 2050 target and actively nurturing start-ups in emerging technology areas.
MIGHT President and CEO Datuk Dr Mohd Yusoff Sulaiman viewed the collaboration as a significant milestone in advancing innovation and technology.
He said the technology brought forth by Wasavé was fundamental in addressing and providing alternate solutions to some of the country’s energy efficiency needs, climate change challenges, food security, smart city development, social-economic impacts and industry improvements.
“MIGHT is confident that Wasavé would establish itself as a critical player in the industry, developing a portfolio of next-generation energy processes capable of satisfying more diverse energy needs in a modular and efficient manner, growing into a national asset,” said Mohd Yusoff.
Wasavé Chief Communications Officer (CCO) Alex Iskandar Liew said innovative ideas were always the hardest to take off or gain support.
“Everyone wants a tried and tested model, which isn’t innovation. It’s merely best practice,” said Liew.
“We are highly grateful to MIGHT for collaborating with us to discover new energy and environmental solutions to aid the national green agenda.
“This opportunity at MIGHT has enabled us to delve deeper into our technological and commercial R&D to make Coldgrow more accessible to our primary and secondary industries.” – @Green