Researchers have developed a water-based air-conditioning system that cools air to 18 levels Celsius with out energy-intensive compressors and chemical refrigerants.
Led by Ernest Chua, Affiliate Professor within the Division of Mechanical Engineering on the Nationwide College of Singapore (NUS) College of Engineering, the group’s air-con system is claimed to be a cheap and sustainable resolution for regulating ambient air situations.
Chua stated, “For buildings positioned in tropical areas, air-con is accountable for greater than 40 % of a constructing’s vitality consumption. We anticipate this fee to extend dramatically, including an extra punch to international warming.” .
In response to NUS, the system consumes about 40 % much less electrical energy than present compressor-based air-conditioners and negates using chemical refrigerants, together with chlorofluorocarbons and hydrochlorofluorocarbons, for cooling. The system additionally generates consuming water whereas it cools the ambient air.
Chua stated, “First invented by Willis Service in 1902, vapor compression air-con is essentially the most broadly used air-con know-how in the present day. This method could be very energy-intensive and dangerous to the atmosphere. In distinction, Our new membrane and water-based cooling know-how could be very environmentally pleasant – it could actually present cool and dry air with out utilizing a compressor and chemical refrigerants. It’s a new place to begin for the subsequent era of air-conditioners, and our The know-how has immense potential to disrupt the air-conditioning that has historically been taken without any consideration.”
Present air-conditioning methods require massive quantities of vitality to take away moisture and funky the dehumidified air. By creating the 2 methods to separate these two processes, the NUS engineering group believes they’ll higher management every course of and obtain better vitality effectivity.
The brand new system makes use of an modern membrane know-how to take away moisture from beforehand moist outside air. The dehumidified air is then cooled by way of a dew-point cooling system that makes use of water because the cooling medium as an alternative of chemical refrigerants.
In contrast to vapor compression air-conditioners, the system doesn’t launch sizzling air to the atmosphere. As an alternative, a chilly air stream that’s comparatively much less humid than the environmental humidity is launched – negating the impact of the microclimate. About 12 to fifteen liters of consuming water may also be harvested after working the air-con system for a day.
“Our cooling know-how might be simply tailor-made for every type of climate situations, from humid climates within the tropics to dry climates within the desert. Whereas it may be used for indoor residing and industrial areas, it may be simply prolonged to offer air-con for clusters of buildings in an energy-efficient method. This new know-how can also be extremely appropriate for confined areas,” Chua stated.
The analysis group is at the moment refining the design of the air-conditioning system to additional enhance its user-friendliness. NUS researchers are additionally working to include options together with pre-programmed thermal settings primarily based on human occupancy and real-time monitoring of its vitality effectivity. The group appears to be like ahead to working with business companions to commercialize the know-how.
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