edatoakrun
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"The Cost of Cool". Air conditioning has changed the world.

Sun Aug 19, 2012 8:45 am

An interesting NYT story on the way AC has changed the World's economic development and energy use.

It doesn't mention the increased future AC demand of ATM/AC-cooled BEV/PHEV battery packs, or of those without ATM, parked in air conditioned garages...

The Cost of Cool

THE blackouts that left hundreds of millions of Indians sweltering in the dark last month underscored the status of air-conditioning as one of the world’s most vexing environmental quandaries.

Fact 1: Nearly all of the world’s booming cities are in the tropics and will be home to an estimated one billion new consumers by 2025. As temperatures rise, they — and we — will use more air-conditioning.

Fact 2: Air-conditioners draw copious electricity, and deliver a double whammy in terms of climate change, since both the electricity they use and the coolants they contain result in planet-warming emissions.

Fact 3: Scientific studies increasingly show that health and productivity rise significantly if indoor temperature is cooled in hot weather. So cooling is not just about comfort.

Sum up these facts and it’s hard to escape: Today’s humans probably need air-conditioning if they want to thrive and prosper. Yet if all those new city dwellers use air-conditioning the way Americans do, life could be one stuttering series of massive blackouts, accompanied by disastrous planet-warming emissions.

We can’t live with air-conditioning, but we can’t live without it.

“It is true that air-conditioning made the economy happen for Singapore and is doing so for other emerging economies,” said Pawel Wargocki, an expert on indoor air quality at the International Center for Indoor Environment and Energy at the Technical University of Denmark. “On the other hand, it poses a huge threat to global climate and energy use. The current pace is very dangerous.”

Projections of air-conditioning use are daunting. In 2007, only 11 percent of households in Brazil and 2 percent in India had air-conditioning, compared with 87 percent in the United States, which has a more temperate climate, said Michael Sivak, a research professor in energy at the University of Michigan. “There is huge latent demand,” Mr. Sivak said. “Current energy demand does not yet reflect what will happen when these countries have more money and more people can afford air-conditioning.” He has estimated that, based on its climate and the size of the population, the cooling needs of Mumbai alone could be about a quarter of those of the entire United States, which he calls “one scary statistic.” ...


http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/19/sunda ... ry.html?hp
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QueenBee
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Re: "The Cost of Cool". Air conditioning has changed the wor

Sat Sep 22, 2012 6:47 pm

Fortunately there are solutions on the horizon:
http://www.synapse.com/newsroom/news-re ... nditioners

AndyH
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Re: "The Cost of Cool". Air conditioning has changed the wor

Fri Oct 19, 2012 4:00 pm

We have solutions that go back many years yet are still in use on the planet. No electricity necessary, but one does need falling water.

Falling water filled with air bubbles will compress the air. The cool compressed air is trapped underground. Release the air into a building - instant air conditioning with no electricity.

As a bonus, the compressed air can also be used to run any motorized device within reach of an air line.

Trompe (or trombe)

http://tagari.com/news/articles/energy_water_food
In 1930, all cars, trams, trains, and cool rooms in Paris and Chicago, were supplied by miners with trompes, operated on compressed air. Light motor vehicles with 7 to 10 h.p. slide valve steam engines with a working pressure of 40 p.s.i., could travel 100 or more kilometres on 2 cubic feet of air at 1500 p.s.i. held in a drawn-steel cylinder below the seat.

The exhaust gas was very cold air, directed to a hamper in the boot for the preservation of cold meats, cold drinks, and the like. Unlike electricity, compressed air loses little in transport, and until the fossil fuels displaced it. It has no poisonous fumes or explosive potential.

As well, the trompes are well developed, and the uses of compressed air tools also very sophisticated. Many trompes can be built in one stream, and form many reservoirs of compressed air.

http://forums.permaculture.org.au/showthread.php?12069-Looking-for-cheapest-Trompe-Designs/page6
Image

http://www.motherearthnews.com/renewable-energy/hydro-power-zmaz77jazbon.aspx
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Smidge204
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Re: "The Cost of Cool". Air conditioning has changed the wor

Wed Oct 24, 2012 4:48 am

AndyH wrote:We have solutions that go back many years yet are still in use on the planet. No electricity necessary, but one does need falling water.

I really have to question the overall efficiency of such a system. Granted, the energy is "free" in that you are presumably using existing flowing water, but I can't help but think you'd be better off converting the water's flow to mechanical energy to drive a more conventional refrigeration cycle machine - no need for the electrical conversion.

It's a quaint idea and certainly simple in concept and implementation, which has its advantages. Again, though, my gut feeling is you can get more bang for your buck(et) using more modern technologies.
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hill
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Re: "The Cost of Cool". Air conditioning has changed the wor

Wed Oct 24, 2012 4:58 am

Funny thing - (central) AC can draw WAY more power than charging the leaf . . . . but you don't hear the world clammering to stop AC's progress. And AC can't put its power back onto the grid in times of need.
;)

smkettner
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Re: "The Cost of Cool". Air conditioning has changed the wor

Wed Oct 24, 2012 7:57 am

hill wrote:Funny thing - (central) AC can draw WAY more power than charging the leaf . . . . but you don't hear the world clammering to stop AC's progress. And AC can't put its power back onto the grid in times of need.
;)

And AC is virtually always an on-peak draw vs EVs can be mostly off-peak.
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dhanson865
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Re: "The Cost of Cool". Air conditioning has changed the wor

Wed Oct 24, 2012 8:58 am

hill wrote:Funny thing - (central) AC can draw WAY more power than charging the leaf . . . . but you don't hear the world clammering to stop AC's progress. And AC can't put its power back onto the grid in times of need.
;)


No but there are ways to have the AC cut off when the power load is the highest with smart meters and a compliant thermostat on the AC system.

Also SEER (effeciency of AC in general) is no where near theoretical limits. My current system is in the high teens (nameplate SEER of 20 on the outdoor unit but actually based on pump size and air handler the system is more like 18 or 19) but that can be beaten and I expect it to seem ineffecient in a decade.
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hill
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Re: "The Cost of Cool". Air conditioning has changed the wor

Wed Oct 24, 2012 9:46 am

dhanson865 wrote:
hill wrote:Funny thing - (central) AC can draw WAY more power than charging the leaf . . . . but you don't hear the world clammering to stop AC's progress. And AC can't put its power back onto the grid in times of need.
;)


No but there are ways to have the AC cut off when the power load is the highest with smart meters and a compliant thermostat on the AC system. . . . . . . . snip
I'll see your smart AC ... and raise you;
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edatoakrun
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Re: "The Cost of Cool". Air conditioning has changed the wor

Wed Oct 24, 2012 9:50 am

dhanson865 wrote:
hill wrote:Funny thing - (central) AC can draw WAY more power than charging the leaf . . . . but you don't hear the world clammering to stop AC's progress. And AC can't put its power back onto the grid in times of need.
;)


No but there are ways to have the AC cut off when the power load is the highest with smart meters and a compliant thermostat on the AC system.

Also SEER (effeciency of AC in general) is no where near theoretical limits. My current system is in the high teens (nameplate SEER of 20 on the outdoor unit but actually based on pump size and air handler the system is more like 18 or 19) but that can be beaten and I expect it to seem ineffecient in a decade.


The problem is, since most ratepayers only have fixed kWh rate options, rather than TOU rates that reflect the actual cost of electricity production, we are all subsidizing the continued use and future purchases of AC systems that are grossly inefficient, in comparison to what could be achieved.
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dhanson865
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Re: "The Cost of Cool". Air conditioning has changed the wor

Wed Oct 24, 2012 12:56 pm

edatoakrun wrote:
dhanson865 wrote:
hill wrote:Funny thing - (central) AC can draw WAY more power than charging the leaf . . . . but you don't hear the world clammering to stop AC's progress. And AC can't put its power back onto the grid in times of need.
;)


No but there are ways to have the AC cut off when the power load is the highest with smart meters and a compliant thermostat on the AC system.

Also SEER (effeciency of AC in general) is no where near theoretical limits. My current system is in the high teens (nameplate SEER of 20 on the outdoor unit but actually based on pump size and air handler the system is more like 18 or 19) but that can be beaten and I expect it to seem ineffecient in a decade.


The problem is, since most ratepayers only have fixed kWh rate options, rather than TOU rates that reflect the actual cost of electricity production, we are all subsidizing the continued use and future purchases of AC systems that are grossly inefficient, in comparison to what could be achieved.


The point of the smart meter is to allow the power company to reduce peak demand on the daily cylce allowing them to reduce costs by avoiding generating electricty with more costly methods. This savings is directly passed back to the customer in most locations in the US because the electric company is regulated as a monopoly and has to tie rates to costs (ajusting up and down on a frequent basis).

I'm sure in TOU locations they don't tie the rates directly to costs, and in TOU and NON TOU locations I'm sure you can make the case that costs are spread across all the userbase but just because the forcing is indirect doesn't mean it doesn't make a difference.

The worst thing about all of that is smart thermostat controlled AC isn't used enough to even be a blip on the radar on the national scale for those of us in the US. I know my system is NON TOU, analog power meter, no ability for my AC to respond or my electricity provider to request or in other words

grossly inefficient, in comparison to what could be achieved.


as in you are right in general, I just wanted to make sure the lurkers knew the possiblities for improvement.
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wiki/index.php?title=Real_World_Battery_Capacity_Loss
(efficiency 3.x KW vs 6.x KW)
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