As heating and cooling services can tell you, it takes a ton of energy just to reduce a 65-degree room by even one degree.
Now, following the Department of Energy’s 2014 Solar Decathlon, it seems like we’ve come up with a solution. Adoption of green technologies, both on the individual and governmental levels, has shot through the roof in recent years
According to a report from the WorldWatch Institute, a U.S.-based organization that pushes for the adoption of green tech, the United States will surpass many nations in its ability to produce clean energy by the end of the year. On the individual level, usage of solar panels on homes has grown by more than 300% since 2011. It’s good news across the board.
Unfortunately, not every energy problem has been solved with eco-friendly technology. Home air conditioning systems, used by 87% of the U.S. population, according to The Atlantic, still eat up 48% of our total energy usage in this country. The biggest problem is that despite the increased prevalence of less demanding heating and cooling units, like the SEER-rated options from Energy Star, even the best heating and cooling systems remain energy guzzlers.
Energy Efficiency is About Exchanging Energy, Not Adding to It
The biggest challenge for heating and cooling services and engineers has been figuring out how to reduce the energy needed to heat and cool air. As heating and cooling services can tell you, it takes a ton of energy just to reduce a 65-degree room by even one degree. Now, following the Department of Energy’s 2014 Solar Decathlon, it seems like we’ve come up with a solution.
The answer lies in the principal of heat exchange. By using solar powered heat pumps and a series of networked tubing, heated air and water can be pulled back and forth between rooms to condition the air inside — no extra energy required for heating or cooling. It’s a technology that sounds like it could only exist in science fiction. Current heat pumps that work on traditional energy are 50% more energy efficient than heating furnaces and other systems that rely on home air conditioning compressors, as the green energy news site CleanTechnica reports.
The team responsible for this new version of the technology believes they can make it infinitely more efficient, relying completely on renewable energy sources to keep homes comfortable. Current models depend on solar radiation, but there are plans in the works to make geothermal models, as well. Since both water and air can be easily and efficiently heated using this technology, next generation heat pumps could not only affect heating and cooling services and their clients, but those in the water-related industries as well.
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