Through his clean tech investment fund, Bill Gates has just pledged as little as $20 million to a start-up developing a promising air conditioner.
The startup blue borderspecializing in air conditioning, has just received the sum of 20 million dollars Groundbreaking Energy VenturesBill Gates’ cleantech mutual fund.
A major challenge for the climate
The search for new types of air conditioning is a major challenge in the fight against global warming. In fact, rising temperatures are encouraging more and more people to use air conditioning to beat the heat. Unfortunately, these devices themselves contribute to global warming.
Air conditioning is responsible for almost 4% of greenhouse gas emissions, according to a scientific study by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory at the Xerox Research Center in Palo Alto, California. As Jason Woods, one of the engineers who worked on this study, points out:
“ It’s nice that more people can enjoy the improved comfort, but it also means that a lot more energy is used and CO2 emissions rise. »
Developing the air conditioning systems of the future
Every year, 1950 million tons of carbon dioxide are released from the energy used to run air conditioning. 531 million tons are used to cool the air, 599 million to remove moisture, and the remaining 820 million comes from refrigerant leaks and greenhouse gases released during air conditioning manufacturing and transportation.
This is where the start-up comes into play blue border that Bill Gates just invested in. The company is working on an air conditioner that uses fewer polluting by-products. Engineers used liquid desiccant, which is much more effective at removing moisture from the air than liquid coolants.
An advance that allows them to use only a third to a fifth of the refrigerant compared to the traditional system. In fact, the refrigerant used by blue border not used for cooling, but to run the heat pump, which regulates the concentration of the liquid desiccant to reduce the ambient humidity.
The other big advantage of the solution blue border comes from the liquid desiccant storage system directly in the air conditioning system. Concretely, this means that the device is less dependent on renewable energies, which are intermittent energy sources. CEO Daniel Betts told CNBC:
“ Storage also allows us to use most of our energy when renewable energy is plentiful and grid congestion is low. We avoid using electricity at peak times when demand is high and the systems are powered by power plants that run on fossil fuels. »