NUS scientists developed eco-friendly and energy-saving air-conditioner

All-weather friendly cooling technologies work without mechanical compressors or chemical refrigerants and generates drinking water.


A group of scientists from the National University of Singapore (NUS) has spearheaded another water-based air-conditioner system that cools the air to as low as 18 degrees Celsius without the utilization of vitality concentrated compressors and earth hurtful compound refrigerants. This amusement changing innovation could supplant the extremely old air-cooling principle that is as yet being used as a part of our cutting-edge air conditioning systems. Reasonable for both indoor and outside use, the novel framework is convenient and it can likewise be redone for a range of climate conditions.

The team’s novel air-conditioning system is cost-effective to produce, and it is also more eco-friendly and sustainable. The system consumes about 40 percent less electricity than current compressor-based air-conditioners used in homes and commercial buildings.

The system expends around 40 for each penny less power than current compressor-based air conditioning systems used as a part of homes and business structures. This converts into more than 40 for every penny lessening in carbon discharges. Furthermore, it embraces a water-based cooling innovation as opposed to utilizing concoction refrigerants, such as, chlorofluorocarbons and hydrochlorofluorocarbon for cooling, consequently making it more secure and all the more earth cordial.

Assoc Prof Chua said, “For buildings located in the tropics, more than 40 percent of the building’s energy consumption is attributed to air-conditioning. We expect this rate to increase dramatically, adding an extra punch to global warming. First invented by Willis Carrier in 1902, vapour compression air-conditioning is the most widely used air-conditioning technology today.”

“This approach is very energy-intensive and environmentally harmful. In contrast, our novel membrane and water-based cooling technology are very eco-friendly – it can provide cool and dry air without using a compressor and chemical refrigerants. This is a new starting point for the next generation of air-conditioners, and our technology has immense potential to disrupt how air-conditioning has traditionally been provided.”

“Our cooling technology can be easily tailored for all types of weather conditions, from the humid climate in the tropics to arid climate in the deserts. While it can be used for indoor living and commercial spaces, it can also be easily scaled up to provide air-conditioning for clusters of buildings in an energy-efficient manner.”

“This novel technology is also highly suitable for confined spaces such as bomb shelters or bunkers, where removing moisture from the air is critical for human comfort, as well as for sustainable operation of delicate equipment in areas such as field hospitals, armoured personnel carriers, and operation decks of navy ships as well as aircrafts.”

Current air conditioner systems require a lot of vitality to expel dampness and to cool the dehumidified air. By creating two systems to play out these two procedures independently, the NUS Engineering group can better control each procedure and subsequently accomplish more noteworthy energy productivity.

The novel air-conditioning system first uses an innovative membrane technology – a paper-like material – to remove moisture from the humid outdoor air. The dehumidified air is then cooled via a dew-point cooling system that uses water as the cooling medium instead of harmful chemical refrigerants.

Unlike vapour compression air-conditioners, the novel system does not release hot air to the environment. Instead, a cool air stream that is comparatively less humid than environmental humidity is discharged – negating the effect of micro-climate. About 12 to 15 litres of potable drinking water can also be harvested after operating the air-conditioning system for a day.

Scientists are now refining the design of the air-conditioning system to further improve its user-friendliness. The NUS researchers are also working to incorporate smart features such as pre-programmed thermal settings based on human occupancy and real-time tracking of its energy efficiency. The team hopes to work with industry partners to commercialise the technology.

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