87 percent of the climate change pollutants found in air-conditioners
Air-conditioner uses%25electricity in offices, malls, airport, factory, hotel, house
USPTO patented pump system
Increasing Efficiency of Air-Conditioners
Efficiency doesn’t require a global treaty. It does, however, call for new regulatory policies on manufacturing standards and labeling.
It matters, researchers say, because cooling has a direct relationship with the building of coal-fired power plants to meet peak demand. If more air-conditioners are humming in more homes and offices, then more capacity will be required to meet the demand. So 1.6 billion new air-conditioners by 2050 means thousands of new power plants will have to come on line to support them.
The Lawrence Berkeley study argues that even a 30 percent improvement in efficiency could avoid the peak load equivalent of about 1,500 power plants by 2030.
But most countries have a lot of work to do in modernizing their energy policies.
“Many countries haven’t updated their standards in a while,” said Nihar Shah, a senior scientific engineering associate at the Lawrence Berkeley laboratory and lead author of the study, which examined the markets of 19 nations. “In most of these countries there’s an opportunity to do both things together.”
The countries driving the bulk of demand for air-conditioning — China, Brazil, India, and Indonesia — have energy efficiency improvement policies like labels and incentive programs. But improvements to China’s policies could have sweeping gains, because it is the key exporter to countries primarily in Southeast Asia, where demand is growing. India’s Ministry of Power is working to develop a program for bulk purchases of superefficient air-conditioners, which may include refrigerant alternatives to HFCs.
In India alone, air-conditioner purchases have risen sharply over the past decade. Many believe India will outpace China, which grew from 5 percent market penetration in the mid-1990s to more than 140 percent today, meaning millions of families have more than one air conditioner.
Durwood Zaelke, president of the Institute for Governance and Sustainable Development, a nonprofit based in Washington that commissioned the lab study, said efficiency was not getting enough attention.
“We don’t pay attention to the fact that demand for air-conditioning is growing, just as the world is becoming more populated and richer, and will grow at a much greater rate as the world gets warmer,” he said.