news hardware Bill Gates invests in the air conditioning of the future to fight global warming
As temperatures continue to rise on Earth, more and more air conditioning is used to compensate, and this worsens the ecological situation. A startup funded by Bill Gates may have found the solution with new air conditioning technology.
Air conditioning, a vicious circle waiting for a solution
according to a NREL study (US National Renewable Energy Research Laboratory), Air conditioning accounts for about 4% of the world’s total greenhouse gases, or 1.95 million tons of carbon dioxide each year. evenly split between air conditioning and humidity control. The former is a cause that is obvious to say the least, but the latter has long eluded scientific investigation.
The real problem is the very diverse functions of dehumidifiers that make them indispensable. In fact, high humidity in the air causes a feeling of discomfort, but it can also lead to damage to buildings and the creation of mold.
If the use of humidity controllers in interior spaces is an environmental disaster, it is for three main reasons:
- Home appliances consume a lot of electricity
- To extract humidity and provide air conditioning, a vapor compression technique is used that requires the use and rejection of components that contain CFCs, a type of molecule derived from fluorinated gases and directly responsible for the degradation of ozone.
- The manufacture and delivery of these devices contributes greatly to the production of greenhouse gases.
Today, the creation of CO2 is balanced between the energy consumption of air conditioners and the emission of CFCs, but it is the latter that should increase more and more over the years, due to emerging countries such as China , India or Indonesia, which have more and more access to this type of technology. This is a positive point for your comfort but a negative for the rest of the planet.
What the NREL report specifies is that there is really no solution to be found around the air conditioning and humidity control system that we have already been using for decades. It is imperative to find sustainable and lower consumption alternatives. This is perhaps what this Tennessee startup has managed to discover.
Two startups and Bill Gates as reinforcements to develop the air conditioning of tomorrow
While the observation is made about the negative consequences and the limits of the current method of air conditioning, we can already glimpse a new technology that should spread more and more. It is the NREL that is the instigator and is in league with two American startups: Emerson and Blue Frontier.
Blue Frontier has just reached its investment target of 20 million dollars (19.6 million euros), financed for the most part by Bill Gates, ex-CEO of Microsoft. But what is this method?
Initially, the research team was looking for a way to combat anthrax, an infectious disease found naturally in soil that could be used as a terrorist bioweapon. This bacterium consists of liquid desiccants, a compound that can be pressurized more easily than water. Therefore, far fewer CFCs are needed to compress the vapor and thus dehumidify and cool a place.
The result of this ploy: It only requires a third to a quarter of the amount of CFC components to operate, for a global warming impact reduced by 85%. Finally, the efficiency of the entire procedure is improved by 40% to, in 2050, reduce the production of CO2 linked to air conditioning and dehumidification in the world by 42% in 2050. That is equivalent to 2,460 tons avoided each year.
Although the project has not yet been completed, test units already exist in 2022, for installation in commercial buildings in 2025, and in private homes in 2026.
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