Radiant Cooling Provides an Efficient Air-Conditioning Alternative

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Radiant Cooling Provides an Efficient Air-Conditioning Alternative

by RP Siegel
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Radiant Cooling Provides Efficient Air-Conditioning Alternative http://bit.ly/1Ju6zEg via @Justmeans @RPSiegel #energy

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Monday, February 23, 2015 - 8:00am

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A sizeable portion (about 5%) of the electricity used in this country is used to produce air conditioning.  That translates into somewhere between 9 and 14 percent of the electricity used in homes and buildings. This has become a cause for concern on a warming planet, given that warming temperatures from energy generation will result in more air conditioning demand requiring more energy generation. This is otherwise known as a positive feedback loop. Some experts are even predicting that the need for air conditioning will exceed the need for heating by the end of this century.

A number of actions are being taken to begin to address this challenge, including, most recently, a move by the Obama administration to raise the standards for commercial air conditioning efficiency. Other innovations include the use of ice for thermal energy storage and evaporative cooling in hot dry climates, as well as continued, incremental improvements in conventional air conditioning systems based on the mechanical vapor-compression principle. While all of these are helpful, it’s not clear that any of them will substantially move the needle.

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Image credit:@Doug88888:Flickr Creative Commons

RP Siegel, author and inventor, shines a powerful light on numerous environmental and technological topics. He has been published in business and technical journals and has written three books. His third, co-authored with Roger Saillant, is Vapor Trails, an eco-thriller that is being adapted for the big screen. RP is a professional engineer – and a prolific inventor, with 50 patents, numerous awards, and several commercial products. He is president of Rain Mountain LLC and is an active environmental advocate in his hometown of Rochester, N.Y. In addition to Justmeans, he writes for Triple Pundit, ThomasNet News, and Energy Viewpoints, occasionally contributing to Mechanical Engineering, Strategy + Business, and Huffington Post. 

Keywords: Energy | Environment | Justmeans | Radiant cooling | Sustainable Finance & Socially Responsible Investment | evaporative cooling | thermal energy storage | vapor-copressions system

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