More Aussie Solar Powered Air Conditioning Innovation

Living in a sunburnt country provides ample inspiration for more effective and efficient cooling devices. In Australia, heating, ventilation and air conditioning accounts for approximately 40% of the energy used in commercial buildings and makes up around 4% of the Australian total greenhouse gas emissions.
   
The Australian Government earlier this month announced funding of over $450,000 from its Climate Ready program to a local company called Air Change to build "The Green Machine", a solar desiccant air cooler expected to be up to 12 times more power efficient than traditional air conditioning systems.
  
The Green Machine unit is designed to drastically reduce the energy consumption required for cooling and to power the remaining electrical requirement using 100% renewable, solar powered electricity sources. The Coefficient of Performance – COP – for the Green Machine would be up to 45:1 compared with 3:1 for traditional split systems.
  
Senator Kim Carr, Minister for Innovation, Industry Science and Research, recently visited the Air Change premises in Caringbah to view the technology. According to Senator Karr, Air Change will use a combination of technologies, including solar power, to significantly reduce power consumption. The system will have no need for refrigeration compressors, with the only external energy requirement being to drive the fans. Just about any kind of refrigerant will be able to be used in the system, including water.
  
Designed for both the domestic and the commercial market, the scalable Green Machine will cool anywhere from an individual room to large factories and office buildings.
  
The $75 million Climate Ready program offered grants from $50,000 to $5 million to help develop innovative solutions to climate change. Climate Ready is part of the Clean Business Australia initiative – a $240 million partnership over four years between the Rudd Government and industry to deliver energy and water-efficient projects with a focus on productivity and innovation.