Bill Gates is investing in air conditioning in the future to fight global warming

News hardware Bill Gates is investing in air conditioning in the future to fight global warming

As the Earth’s temperature continues to rise, more and more air conditioning is used to compensate and this worsens the ecological situation. A startup funded by Bill Gates may have found the solution with new air conditioning technology.

Air conditioning, a vicious circle waiting for a solution

According to a study conducted by NREL (US National Research Laboratory for Renewable Energy), Air conditioning accounts for about 4% of the world’s total greenhouse gases, or 1.95 million tons of carbon dioxide per year, divided equally between air conditioning and humidity control. The first is a factor that is obvious to say the least, but the second has long eluded scientific research.

The real problem is the different functions of dehumidifiers that make this necessary. In fact, high humidity in the air causes a feeling of discomfort but can also cause damage to buildings and mold production.

If the use of humidity controllers in indoor environments is an environmental disaster, it is due to three main reasons:

  • Appliances use a lot of electricity
  • To remove the humidity and provide air conditioning, the vapor compression technique is used which requires the use and rejection of components that contain CFC, a type of molecule derived from fluorinated gases and directly responsible for the destruction of ozone.
  • The manufacture and delivery of these devices contribute significantly to the production of greenhouse gases.

Today, the generation of CO2 is balanced between the energy consumption of air conditioners and the release of CFCs, but it is the latter that should increase over the years, due to developing countries such as China. , India or Indonesia, which are increasingly accessing this type of technology. This is a positive point for their comfort but a negative for the rest of the planet.

Bill Gates is investing in air conditioning in the future to fight global warming

What the NREL report specifies is that there really isn’t a single solution to be found around the air conditioning and humidity control systems we’ve been using for decades. It is imperative to find sustainable and less depleting alternatives. This may be what this Tennessee startup discovered.

Two startups and Bill Gates as reinforcements to develop tomorrow’s air conditioning

While observing the negative consequences and limitations of the current air conditioning method, we can now find a new technology that should be more and more extensive. It is NREL that is the instigator and ally two American startups: Emerson and Blue Frontier.

Blue Frontier recently reached its investment goal of 20 million dollars (19.6 million euros), which was largely financed by Bill Gates, the former CEO of Microsoft. But what is this method?

At first, the research team was looking for a way to fight anthrax, an infectious disease that occurs naturally in the soil and can be used as a terrorist’s biological weapon. This bacteria consists of liquid desiccants, a compound that is more easily pressurized than water. Therefore, less CFCs are needed to compress the vapor and therefore dehumidify and air-condition an area.

Bill Gates is investing in air conditioning in the future to fight global warming

The result of this strategy: requires only between a third and a fourth of the amount of CFC components to work, for a global warming effect reduced by 85%. Finally, the efficiency of the whole method is improved by 40% in order, in 2050, to reduce the production of CO2 linked to air conditioning and dehumidification in the world by 42% in 2050. That is equivalent to 2460 tons avoided every year.

Although the project has not yet been completed, there will be test units in 2022, for installation in commercial buildings in 2025, and in private homes in 2026.

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