Green Revolution In The Pipeline For Air Conditioning Systems

Air conditioning could be about to undergo a transformation. New technology has been developed which could help save energy.

The Nanocap Process cuts energy costs, says developer Nanocap Technologies. The firm claims that during typical air conditioning use, the technology can produce energy savings of 20-35% - helping meet current and future government-required efficiency standards – and benefits from lower operating costs. It also has lower production costs.

The technology is available for immediate licensing and promises a revolution in air conditioning systems and dehumidification systems that has not been seen since modern air conditioning was invented in 1902. Simply put, current systems work by cooling air down to the dew point to condense water vapour, which drips off refrigerated coils.

It then reheats the air to a comfortable temperature. Nanocap's system uses capillary condensation and then osmosis through a semi-permeable membrane to dry air, the firm explained. In other words, with the new system, air is pre-dried, separate from the cooling process - so there is no need to cool air to the dew point and then reheat it to achieve the required temperature.

The system features a "Comfort-stat", which offers humidistat and thermostat controls that cater to individual preferences, and also benefits from reduced noise. In the US alone, the Nanocap Process has the potential to save between $3 billion (£2.02 billion) and $5.25 billion (£3.53 billion) per year, said a company spokesman. Its benefits also include increased customer comfort and satisfaction and lower production costs, while applications range from residential, commercial, industrial buildings, vehicle air conditioners and high-humidity indoor environments.

"All end-users will experience lower operating costs, as air conditioning would be used much less since dried air will provide comfortable environments without the need for wasteful, noisy and inefficient complementary cooling," a company spokesman said.