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Singapore Researchers Develop Air Conditioner That Uses 40% Less Energy

By Brian Spaen

Air conditioning is a great example of technology that many of us utilize, but there hasn’t been much progress to improve it. That’s about to change with a new system created by researchers at the National University of Singapore. Their water-based air conditioner doesn’t use any mechanical compressors, saves on electricity, and it can even save drinking water.

The development of this new air conditioning system was spearheaded by associate professor Ernest Chua at the NUS Faculty of Engineering. It operates with 40 percent less electricity needed than traditional air conditioners. Therefore, over 40 percent of carbon dioxide emissions are reduced, immediately making a significant difference for the environment.

How is it able to function with less energy? It divides up the process of removing moisture in the air and cooling it, making energy use more efficient. Instead of using chemical refrigerants like chlorofluorocarbon, it uses a dew-point cooling technology that removes moisture from humidity outside and cools the dehumidified air. Air that’s less humid than the environment is released, meaning it’s very adaptable for any type of weather condition.