Today’s Solutions: May 19, 2024

With rising temperatures as a result of climate change, the demand for air conditioners is expected to rise at unprecedented rates, which, in turn, will only further contribute to climate change due to the large amount of energy they require.

That, however, is not their only problem. In a time of the pandemic, air conditioning systems present new risks since they work by cooling the same air around us, potentially spreading the coronavirus.

A new highly efficient system, developed by scientists at the University of British Columbia, Princeton, UC Berkeley, and the Singapore-ETH Centre aims to tackle these challenges with an innovative cooling technology that doesn’t move air around.

As part of the study, scientists lined door-sized panels with tiny tubes that circulate cold water, offering a cooling experience to whoever stands next to them. 

Unlike air conditioners, these panels can be used with the windows open, meaning that they can also be installed outdoors, allowing people to stay cool during a heatwave, while also getting some fresh air.

The unique feature and the key breakthrough behind the new cooling technology is a thin, transparent membrane that repels condensation — a hurdle that has so far prevented the wider use of similar cooling panels. And, because it stays dry, it can be used in humid conditions, without the use of a dehumidifier, which is responsible for around half of the total power consumed by typical air conditioners.

Researchers are now figuring out a way to make the currently thin version of the anti-condensation membrane strong enough to survive outdoors. Once that has been achieved, the aim is to make the technology available to consumers as quickly as possible, for use in homes and offices, or outdoors.

Solutions News Source Print this article
More of Today's Solutions

Why you should drink coffee after breakfast—and not before

While it may be tempting to drink coffee the moment you get out of bed, a study from the University of Bath suggests that ...

Read More

Wildlife filmaker provides a unique insight into the daily lives of bees

You may have seen bees flying around your backyard or local park, but it can be difficult for the naked human eye to grasp ...

Read More

This is the UN plan to tackle plastic pollution

The Optimist Daily very much likes writing about plastic cleanup in the oceans. So, we were ecstatic when we learned about the beginnings of a ...

Read More

Revel at the most detailed image of our universe yet

Here at The Optimist Daily, we have been sharing every exciting step of the James Webb Telescope’s journey, from its long-awaited launch, to when ...

Read More