Cool It! Innovative, sustainable ways to regulate indoor air temperatures

James Haralson

As summer approaches, scientists and entrepreneurs around the world are developing innovative ways to stay cool while still promoting a sustainable environment.

Based in Austria, SolarFrost Research and Development focuses on creating “alternative cooling machines” that keep consumers chill during warm weather, and lessen the impact on the environment.

These cooling machines can run off power from solar energy, waste heat, or district heating. According to SolarFrost officials, the machines are “simple to build” and have a low “required energy input.”

Dr. Gerhard Kunze, General Manager of SolarFrost, leads a small executive team, which is made up of Executive Assistant Sigrid Stemberger, and workshop overseer Tahir Tanriverdi.

The company boasts successful cooling systems that include Ammonia Water Absorption Cooling, The SolarFrost Innovation, Compression cooling, Crystallisation energy cooling, and Water-LiBr absorption.

Active Chilled Beams
In Massachusetts, DADANCO specializes in Active Chilled Beam air conditioning. The Active Chilled Beams are an alternative cooling system in which a building’s ventilation air is continuously supplied to the active chilled beam terminal units to be cooled or heated. The process begins by drawing the building’s ventilation air into the beams through nozzles. Next, once the air is in the beam, the air is then induced into a secondary water coil and is cooled to the optimal temperature needed for the room. Finally, the air is discharged into the room.

There are several benefits in using the Active Chilled Beams. DADANCO officials cite that the chilled beams use 75-85% less primary air than conventional systems. The beams are also cheaper than traditional air conditioning units. Along with that, according to DADANCOofficials, the units do not require regular maintenance, which helps lessen the overall cost of the chilled beam system.

While the DADANCO website claims the chilled beam system is new to America, they say the beams are “very popular in Europe, Australia, and other parts of the world.”

Solar Cooling
While DADANCO’s chilled beam system has done away with the traditional set up of a typical air conditioning unit, Scientists at a Madrid University have revamped the customary model using solar cooling

A 2008 Science Daily Article featured researchers from the Unversidad Carlos III of Madrid and the Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas who invented an ozone friendly solar powered A/C unit.

According to the article, the unit operates by “combining the use of lithium bromide solution, which does not damage the ozone layer or increase the greenhouse effect.” Along with that, the unit provides homes with cold water that can be “used for climate control applications” through a fan coil.

Today more and more inventors are seeking ways to meet modern needs through sustainable options. These ideas are only a few of millions on how to sustainably adjust indoor environments. These methods prove that with hard work and creativity, effective, green alternatives are possible.