Air Conditioning Use Furthers Demand

Many studies have shown that heat generated by air conditioners at night raised outdoor temperatures, intensifying the heat island effect in urban settings. This positive feedback effect, in turn, escalates the demand for cooling. It was found by Arizona State University that while waste heat peaked during the daytime, the effects were most consequential during the night where the mean air temperature rose nearly two degrees Fahrenheit in deep urban settings. A smaller amount of excess heat emitted during the night can increase the air temperature more compared to a greater quantity released during the daytime when the hot sun is out.

Air conditioning systems account for over half of the total electricity consumption during peak summer days and really drains the electrical grid. Rapidly expanding metropolises are the most susceptible to increases in cooling demand. To conform to ever-stringent sustainability policies, it is critical to study and contain excess heat waste produced by air conditioners.

The research shows that discharge of waste heat increases the outdoor temperature and as a result escalates electrical consumption required for cooling. The investigation of this feedback made use of a building energy model and an atmospheric model that were dynamically united. The atmospheric model supplied the building energy model with outdoor conditions, the size and shapes of buildings, and factors such as wind speed. The building energy model then provided the atmospheric model with the heat fluxes linked to the energy consumption of air conditioning systems within the buildings.

According to the Department of Energy, summertime extreme-heat days are projected to become more frequent and intense as a result of climate change, bestowing real challenges for the energy sector and electrical grid. Dependable methods are needed for projecting energy demands that can help to inform and support in the future planning of sustainable energy needs of rapidly growing urban areas.

Sustainable development and optimization of electricity consumption in cities would require turning wasted heat from air conditioners into useful energy which can be utilized inside homes and commercial buildings for various purposes including, for example, water heaters. More recently, heat recovery ventilators have gained a presence in the US. By using HRVs, which are essentially very efficient air-to-air heat exchangers, facilities can cut their cooling (and heating) loads in the summer and winter months by up two thirds while enjoying the luxury of fresh air. Furthermore, a modern HRV system can operate on as little energy as a single light bulb! Applying these plans would achieve several goals: successfully reducing the heat island effect at night, reducing air condition electricity use on a city level and providing a real example of urban climate alleviation. Call BES today at (347) 470-7090 to find out what you can do to save on your facility energy costs without sacrificing comfort.


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