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Cooling without polluting: Two new green air conditioning innovations

The starry night sky seems remarkably distant from the topic of air conditioning, but it’s revolutionizing the field in quite an unexpected way. In this episode of “The Spark,” watch how scientists from across the globe are harnessing natural phenomena to drastically redesign this century-old technology.

In this Bloomberg video, we meet three people who are developing new green air conditioning technologies that can cool our spaces without polluting. First: Dr. Ernest (Kian Jon) Chua, professor of mechanical engineering at the National University of Singapore. He’s working on a team that’s developing environmentally-friendly water-based air conditioning that doesn’t need chemical refrigerants. The two-step cooling machine takes 30% less energy than traditional air conditioning and doesn’t release heat back out into the environment. And it’s 30% less expensive.

Then meet SkyCool Systems co-founders Eli Goldstein and Aaswath Raman. Their space-age mirrors could potentially “cut the energy used to cool structures by 10 to 70 percent, shrinking one of the biggest single demands on the U.S. grid and reducing greenhouse-gas emissions accordingly.” Read more about their cutting-edge technologies in in Technology Review or watch Raman’s 2018 TED Talk.

Watch these videos next: Using seawater and sunlight to grow sustainable food in the desert, geothermal energy in Iceland, and can Namib Desert beetles help us solve our drought problems?

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