Is AC Changing? How Technology will Transform the AC Industry
Air conditioning has been credited with changing the way people live and work. However, industrial and residential air conditioning units continue to operate much the same way they have for decades.
There have been some marginal improvements when it comes to energy efficiency, but there has been surprisingly little innovation in the way traditional AC units work.
Why Industrial Air Conditioning has worked the same way for Decades
There are three major reasons air conditioning has experienced relatively little innovation over the past three decades. First, energy is still relatively inexpensive. For a variety of political and economic reasons, electricity is cheap throughout most of the western world compared to many other costs faced by businesses. In order to save significant amounts of money the cuts in energy consumption need to be considerable. Second, until recently there has not been a widespread understanding of the dangers traditional AC units pose to the inside and outside environment. This means there is little economic demand for better air conditioning units. Third, many architects, engineers, and builders continue to construct buildings designed for traditional AC systems. This “work with what we have” concept requires that any innovations need to be compatible with existing HVAC infrastructure. This has been a tall order for many firms hoping for innovation in this space.
Modern Challenges Facing Traditional Air Conditioning
However, in the 21st century things have changed. While energy is still relatively cheap, margins have narrowed for companies in many different industries. Even modest cost savings can give an organization a competitive advantage. The environmental harm done by air conditioning can no longer be ignored. In addition to the large amounts of energy they consume, most traditional air conditioners rely on harmful chemical compounds to work. Not only are these compounds toxic, current regulations are making it more expensive to properly dispose of them.
Everyone, including end users, architects, engineers, and builders are becoming more eco-conscious. There is greater demand for technologies that leave a minimal carbon footprint. Traditional air conditioners alone cannot meet this demand.
Another key challenge is the building awareness of the health hazards posed by the close systems that traditional air conditioners require. Sick building syndrome takes a big economic toll on businesses just as science is once again showing that fresh outside air is beneficial to everyone.
Innovation is required for air conditioning to be feasible in the decades to come.
How Digital Technology Makes Air Conditioning Better
In the past engineers designed their air conditioning systems based on a single extreme condition or season. Depending on the exact conditions outside at the moment, different strategies may be more energy efficient. However, how could you combine Traditional Direct Expansion (DX) AC with a Direct Evaporative or Indirect Evaporative strategy? With digital technology.
Air2O manages a variety of different systems or strategies together with their ACSESS Control System. ACSESS stands for Air Condition Smart Energy Saving System. This system uses smart technology to assess the current conditions and then automate which strategy is used. It automatically adjusts strategies as conditions change.
This digital technology not only makes air conditioning much more energy efficient, but it also makes air conditioning work better. It is able to keep the indoor environment at a comfortable temperature and humidity level, while also allowing for open air flows to keep the inside air quality much higher than in the closed systems used by traditional air conditioning.
The Air2O approach is to harness the power of digital technology to make hybrid units that outperform traditional air conditioners in every meaningful way and are better for the environment.
Changing the Way We Think about What’s Possible
After years of stagnation, air conditioning is undergoing a quiet revolution. Thanks to a greater demand for green technologies and the awesome power of smart technologies, major innovations are finally taking place with air conditioning.
State-of-the-art electronic controls and sensors allow buildings to be more comfortable using 80% less energy all year round. There is no longer a need to design an entire system around one “bad” time of year. Now, you can have a system that adjusts as the conditions outside adjust.
These new air conditioners also allow for the circulation of outside air into the interior of a building as part of their climate control process. This keeps harmful pathogens and toxins from breeding inside of the building.
Air2O is changing the way we think about what is possible with air conditioning.