Air conditioners are one of the most amazing luxuries of modern life. Unfortunately, their high energy consumption means they also come with a hefty price tag. Yet new technological developments may soon change all of that. If you would like to learn more about how some recent trends in air conditioner design, read on. This article will acquaint you with two cutting-edge technologies.
DEVAP, short for desiccant enhanced evaporative, offers a revolutionary twist on a process used in all traditional air conditioners. Those machines work by cooling hot air through condensation. One unwanted side-effect of this process is humidity. A large part of your air conditioner's energy consumption comes from its dehumidifying process.
That's where DEVAP comes in. DEVAP utilizes a liquid desiccant--a relative of those "do not eat" packets you find in certain food items--to help remove moisture from the cooled air. This desiccant is used in conjunction with a special evaporation technology that uses water rather than toxic cooling fluids.
The potential energy savings of DEVAP systems are incredible. They require 90% less electricity, resulting in overall energy savings up to 80%. Look for DEVAP systems to begin appearing first in commercial buildings, where potential energy savings are greatest. Residential options will likely appear once the technology has been refined and made affordable enough for the average consumer.
Smart metal is the catchier name for so-called shape-memory alloys. This class of metals is distinguished by a remarkable ability. After having been deformed, they will return to their original orientation by absorbing heat. An air conditioner using this technology, then, would cool a room by mechanically deforming its smart metal components. These would then absorb excess heat from the room, thus returning to their previous shape.
In some ways, this isn't that different from how refrigerant-based air conditioners work. With such traditional systems, however, it is a liquid refrigerant which absorbs the excess heat, causing the refrigerant to transform to a vapor. A compressor is then required in order to turn the coolant back to a liquid and so "reset" the system. The main drawback of this system is its large rate of energy consumption.
Smart metal air conditioners, on the other hand, will offer a much more efficient way to cool air. According to some estimates, their efficiency may be as much as 175% greater than refrigerant-based systems. Not only that, but they will come with a much smaller environmental footprint, as they won't require the use of toxic coolants. This in turn will lead to drastically lower emission levels, making them less of a worry where greenhouse gases are concerned.
For more information about new cooling options, contact a company like John Legg's Heating & Air Conditioning.