Ultra Low Energy Air-conditioning

An air-conditioning system using about 10% of the power of a conventional air conditioner, achieving temperatures of ~24deg.C without using evaporative methods.

This greenhouse gas minimizing air conditioning concept was invented for the special requirement of the AIGO buildings. It was developed in conjunction with Healey Engineering after a demonstration unit had been constructed by Professor David Blair. The device makes use of cool underground water, and reduces the total energy requirements to 10% of conventional air conditioning. The first prototype has been evaluated during the operation of the AIGO facility. The Alternative Energy Development Board funded a monitoring program during 2001 which confirmed its efficiency. A mechanical engineering honours project evaluated the system, and modelling showed that Perth could accommodate 200,000 such units without degrading the water table temperature. Commercialization of this technology would allow massive air conditioning power savings in domestic and industrial locations across Australia wherever low temperature ground water is available (e.g. the entire WA coastal plain). At the Gingin centre the input temperature is 19.5C and the return temperature is about 22C depending on the weather. The water is returned to the water table so there is no depletion of resource. The air-conditioner uses no CFCs and works well in humid conditions because it is not evaporative.

Anyone interested in inspecting two such systems now installed at the Gingin Gravity Precinct should arrange to visit. Both the AIGO Research Facility and the Gravity Discovery centre are airconditioned with systems which now have achieved a total of 17 years combined operation.