Scientists at the US’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) have created a method of air conditioning that could reduce the operating cost (electricity bill) by up to 90%.
The technology called desiccant-enhanced evaporative air conditioner or DEVap, uses environmentally friendly saline solution rather than conventional refrigerants, and a thin membrane, to achieve the cost reduction.
The present demonstration units are about the same size and cost as a conventional air conditioning unit, though the NREL is working to make them smaller and cheaper. Eventually, NREL will license the technology to industry, “We’re never going to be in the air conditioner manufacturing business”, said Ron Judkoff, Principle Program Manager for Building Energy Research at NREL. “But we’d like to work with manufacturers to bring DEVap to market and create a more efficient and environmentally benign air conditioning product.”
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Filed under: conservation