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5 New Cool AC Technologies that Promise to Cool You Off

by Guest Post on May 26, 2021

There’s nothing like the hot days of summer, especially if you reside in a geography where the winters are long and hard. Ironically, that’s when you look forward to the cold again, only this time around it comes not from Mother Nature, but your air conditioner (AC). But your AC, be it a window unit or central air, can easily translate into exorbitant energy bills, especially during an unusually hot summer.  

According to a recent study by the U.S. Energy Information Administration, space cooling will consume more than 1.28 quadrillion British thermal units across the United States during the summer months. That is said to be the equivalent to around 39 million homes’ total electricity use over the course of a single year. Clearly, all that energy usage adds up.

In the residential sector alone, space cooling will use close to 10-percent of a home’s overall energy consumption. On top of that, a typical AC unit uses fluorocarbon refrigerants as its coolant which can lessen the efficiency of the unit if it begins to leak. It will also damage the environment and cost you a pretty penny in AC repair.

Properly maintaining your air conditioner with the help of a certified heating, ventilating, and air conditioning (HVAC) professional, can help keep your AC system running perfectly and save you money on energy bills in both the short and long run.  

All that said, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Technology office is said to be working on brand new and innovative AC tech engineered to reduce energy use on a massive scale. This can help you “beat the heat” and save precious cash at the same time.  

What follows are 5 AC projects currently in development by the U.S. Department of Energy.

Advanced Heat Exchanger

Maryland’s Optimized Thermal Systems is presently engineering an advanced heat exchanger that, in theory, will minimize AC unit joints by 90-percent compared to present-day models in order to dramatically reduce refrigerant leakage. When you minimize structural joints, refrigerant remains precisely where it should be. It will also work to keep your home comfortably cool while keeping monthly energy bills at a minimum. It’s also good for the environment.

Enhanced Dehumidification

Meanwhile, down at the University of Florida, researchers are engineering a prototype AC unit that will combine a water heater, dehumidifier, and air cooler, which is said to result in a more effective heat transfer. The new technology will provide for enhanced dehumidification control for residential homes and buildings. It will also result in more comfortable temperatures and energy savings.

21st Century HVAC Rooftop Unit

Florida’s Dais Analytics in cooperation with Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), is said to be building a unique new, membrane-based commercial grade rooftop HVAC unit that will use water as a refrigerant rather than the toxic fluorocarbon-based chemical. This brand new unit will keep you cool during sweltering days and at the same time, save 30 to 50-percent in electrical energy consumption. A cool, money-saving, green idea.  

Electrocaloric Tech

Connecticut’s United Technologies Research Center is engineering electrocaloric, solid-state tech in the pursuit of a new generation heat pump. The pump is said to maintain a cool space without the use of any chemical refrigerants. The new AC technology is designed for residential use along with small commercial buildings.  

More compact and quieter than present-day units, the new electrocaloric cooling machine will offer a 25-percent total system efficiency upgrade. Because it’s constructed with fewer mechanical components, it will be more reliable, which can greatly reduce the chance of a breakdown that can cause your cooling to cease during the hot weather or even during a heatwave.

Energy Storage System

Georgia Tech, IntelliChoice Energy, and Tennessee’s ORNL are all partnering up to create a new energy storage system that will integrate with existing AC units to reduce their energy consumption. How does it work? By storing heat that would otherwise be wasted with traditional AC systems.

This new marriage of “ground-level diverse energy storage” with commercial-grade heating and cooling units should result in an energy storage efficiency of 70-percent, while improving overall AC performance by 35-percent.  

The summer season can be long and hot, interspersed with heat waves that can last for days and days. While the summer also equates to “fun in the sun,” there’s nothing like retiring to a home or office that will cool you off for a while. With new AC and HVAC tech on the horizon, it looks like you will soon not only be enjoying more efficient and greener cooling, you will be paying less for it too.

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