Innovation In Airconditioning: Aussies Urged To Gear Up For The Longest Summer

Australia is set to experience above average temperatures through February to April, with the chance of further heatwaves remaining high across the mainland.

With air conditioning, a major culprit in the rising energy demand, straining electricity grids and heating up an already warming planet, Aussies are being urged to rethink the way they keep their cool.

The 2018 IPCC report estimates that by 2100, with current technologies, emissions from residential room air conditioners will be about 15% of today’s total emissions. Leaking HFC refrigerant gases have a global warming potential thousands of times that of CO2. And these gasses, released from billions of powerful air conditioners, could make climate change 25% worse than today’s forecasts.

Traditional air conditioning units still rely on technology that’s a century old and the need for sustainable air conditioning solutions has never been greater.

Australian engineer James Trevelyan has came up with a solution – Close Comfort – and tested it in the hottest and most humid climates around the world; including Australia’s hottest town, Marble Bar, located in the Pilbara region of WA.

Professor James Trevelyan is an Emeritus Professor in the Mechanical and Chemical Engineering School at The University of Western Australia, Fellow of Engineers Australia, and practices as a mechanical and mechatronics engineer developing new air conditioning technology.

His invention reduces harmful emissions by five times, with even greater reductions in future versions. It reduces running costs by up to 75% in Australia and relieves stress on overloaded electricity grids. The brainchild uses four to eight times less energy and one fifth of the refrigerant used by normal room air conditioners.

Airconditioner Innovation: Aussies Urged To Gear Up For The Longest Summer - Sustainable Airconditioning

Featuring patented technology, Close Comfort uses compressor refrigeration, enabling an instant refreshing crisp air flow for localised cooling. It combines the feel of air conditioning with the humble electric fan.

Close Comfort portable air conditioners are distinct from other devices – the single unit is truly portable and lightweight without the need for installation, water or a window duct to run, just simply plug it in.

The unit has proved popular with retirees, Aged Services providers, parents with children, empty nesters, renters and those living off-grid or increasing their use of renewable or sustainable power.

Elissa Jenkins

Elissa Jenkins

Elissa Jenkins is Sustainability Hackers’ Founder and Editor-In-Chief. Elissa founded Sustainability Hackers to inspire a hacker approach to sustainability – using excitement, innovation, creativity and technology to make the world a better place.

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