Meeting global energy demand while preventing a vast increase in carbon emissions is a major problem worldwide and the buildings we live and work in aren’t helping.
According to The World Business Council for Sustainable Development, energy use by buildings accounts for more than 50 percent of global energy consumption and produces substantially more carbon emissions than the transportation sector. Additionally, a recently released study on energy efficiency in buildings found that the global building sector must cut energy use by 60 percent by 2050 if global climate change targets are to be met.
However, global energy use by buildings could be slashed dramatically if a new solar power technology catches on.
ClimateWell, a Swedish company now headquartered in the UK, has developed an innovative solar-powered air-conditioning system that can both cool and heat buildings — ranging from single-family homes to commercial buildings and industrial applications — without using electricity or creating pollution.
The technology uses solar thermal technology to capture the sun’s heat and then stores it for use in heating or cooling. There are no pumps, no moving parts and no refrigerant. The system can continuously receive thermal energy while simultaneously performing heating and cooling functions — like heating a pool and running an air conditioner — at the same time.
According to the company, 85 percent of the total annual amount of energy used to heat and cool buildings can be provided with ClimateWell technology. The technology is currently available in 16 countries, including the United Sates.
“Powering Air-Conditioning Systems with Solar Energy
, Oct. 2, 2011.