NREL: Energy-Saving Technology for Air Conditioning Cuts Peak Power Loads Without Using Harmful Refrigerants

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NREL: Energy-Saving Technology for Air Conditioning Cuts Peak Power Loads Without Using Harmful Refrigerants

In the Press - Jul. 16, 2012

Product development for increased energy efficiency

The Desiccant-Enhanced Evaporative (DEVAP) air conditioner—developed by NREL, AIL Research, and Synapse Product Development LLC—combines desiccant-based dehumidification with indirect evaporative cooling to reduce cooling energy use by up to 81%.

Desiccant-enhanced evaporative (DEVAP) air-conditioning will provide superior comfort for commercial buildings in any climate at a small fraction of the electricity costs of conventional air-conditioning equipment, releasing far less carbon dioxide and cutting costly peak electrical demand by an estimated 80%.

Air conditioning currently consumes about 15% of the electricity generated in the United States and is a major contributor to peak electrical demand on hot summer days, which can lead to escalating power costs, brownouts, and rolling blackouts. DEVAP employs an innovative combination of air-cooling technologies to reduce energy use by up to 81%. DEVAP also shifts most of the energy needs to thermal energy sources, reducing annual electricity use by up to 90%. In doing so,

DEVAP is estimated to cut peak electrical demand by nearly 80% in all climates. Widespread use of this cooling cycle would dramatically cut peak electrical loads throughout the country, saving billions of dollars in investments and operating costs for our nation’s electrical utilities.

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