New Motion-Controlled Device Could Transform Air Conditioning

New air conditioning technology could help cut spiralling global electricity bills. The new device is an air-con controller that uses motion sensor technology to ascertain if a room is empty and shuts off air conditioning systems when a room is unoccupied.

According to Waltech Energy Saving Pty Ltd, the firm behind the power-saving device, up to 80% of air conditioning energy can be wasted heating or cooling empty rooms.

The Waltech device shuts off air-con systems automatically if a room is empty. If the user returns, the system can be switched on again using the regular remote control. Another feature of the technology is its built-in light sensor, which enables it to work effectively in bedrooms. The device can tell if a room is dark, allowing the air conditioner to stay on even if no movement is detected.

From trials, the new technology has shown "promising results" in reducing power bills, says the Australian firm. Research has shown that people can save more than half their air conditioning energy costs simply by turning off the air-conditioner - not to mention potentially increasing the overall product life.

The device is designed for use in hotels, homes, offices, public buildings and schools - anywhere there's an infrared remote-controlled A/C being used, the firm says.

However, it is some way from reaching consumers yet. Its developers are currently seeking crowd funding, having spent 12 months working on the device.

One of the developers, Craig Walsh, said: "It's taken a lot to reach this point. Three electrical engineers, 12 months of research and development, thousands of dollars already invested, and thousands more still needed. We've piloted the product in hotel rooms and homes for over six months, and results have shown big savings on power bills with no reported problems for their guests."

He added: "For both homeowners and business owners, it makes smart financial sense to have power-saving devices like Waltech installed to ensure air conditioners are turned off when not required."