What is the future of air conditioning

Kingtec Solar   -   Delivering a promise of environmental sustainability!

The greatest threat to our planet is the belief that someone else will save it –

Robert Swan (first person to walk to both Poles)

When Robert Swan offered these haunting thoughts, he probably had no idea how relevant and true they would be for us, even many years after he had made his feelings public. The very visible toll that greenhouse gases (GHG), and other toxic emissions, are having on our environment is clear manifestation that unless we, the present generation of the earth’s tenants, act in a more responsible way, our planet is doomed for the future. No one else will step in to save us from our own “progress”.   And because air-condition use is one of the major consumer of conventional grid-based electricity, that causes a large amount of those GHG, one way to contribute responsibly is to think “sustainability” when designing air conditioning for the future.

Demand for the air conditioner of the future will primarily be driven by a hand full of key factors. Firstly, the need to replace existing older (10 to 15 years or more) obsolete models, whether split-units or window-based models in homes and offices, will drive home and business owners to look for newer replacement options. Another factor that will fuel such demand is likely to be the impact that energy efficient ACs will have on ongoing maintenance and operational costs for cooling a room or a building. Yet another factor that will contribute to accelerated future demand for ACs is the ever improving living standards of global population, especially in economies such as China, India and Latin America, where air conditioners are no longer seen as an item of luxury, but as a basic necessity of life.  Regardless of which of these factors contribute more strongly in driving demand, manufacturers of the air conditioners of the future will have one goal front and center, as they head to the drawing board to build their next generation units: Sustainability.  And increasingly stringent national and global standards for sustainable, eco-friendly living will also determine the shape of their future air conditioner designs.

Air conditioners are a major consumer of electric power, and one of the key challenges of designing truly sustainable air conditioners for the future will be to try and completely move away from depending on national electricity grids for the power that electricity-hungry ACs

need. Just a few stark statistics should confirm to us how real the challenge of sustainable energy use is for future air conditioner designers:

  • A 2009 Residential Energy Consumption Survey (RECS) indicates that now, almost 87% of U.S. homes have ACs

  • The sales of air-conditions in India have jumped over 17% over the last 3 years

  • Boasting an AC market of over 2-trillion yen, and nearly 20% of global AC demand, China is set to outrank the U.S as the biggest AC-based consumer of electricity by 2020

Aging power grid infrastructure globally, even in developed nations, will not sustain the rapid and predicted growth in AC-based power consumption. It is not enough to simply “reduce” grid-based power consumption. Future AC designers must find another way out of this dilemma. And as designers take a closer look at the crux of the issue, more and more manufacturers will conclude that solar-powered air conditioners might be the better way forward for the future.

While the big players like LG Electronics (with their Multi V III model), Daikin Industries (through their subsidiary Suzhou) and Samsung Electronics (Smart air conditioner Q) continue their race for more energy efficient models in the coming years, the focus of many of these models is still on electricity-driven designs. True, newer technologies are focusing on some other neat innovations too, including power conservation, noise control, emissions reduction, airflow control and wellness technologies, use of alternate refrigerants (such as R-410A and R-290), and network/internet controlled optimization and diagnosis. However, all of these breakthroughs will prove ineffective unless you have reliable grid power. And future visionaries must realize that sustainable grid power is becoming less and less of a certainty.      

At Kingtec Solar, our designers have already had visions of the air conditioning of the future, and we are absolutely convinced that future is based on better harnessing the potentials of tried and tested solar technologies available today. As a matter of fact, for us, the future has already arrived! Our remarkable range of Kingtec solar air conditioning units are designed and engineered with a futuristic design that promises to deliver the type of eco-friendliness that our planet desperately needs today.    

We believe that as governments, sustainability advocates and air conditioning designers begin to see the power grids as the real challenge,  as we do, more and more AC manufacturers will start coming around to our way of thinking – Solar! That’s why our vision for future air

conditioning already includes solar powered models with between 16,000 BTU’s to 32,000 BTU’s capacities that promise up to 80% energy savings.  Built from the ground up, using tried and tested concepts, and similar components as used by the world renowned Kingtec DC-powered mobile AC, some of our solar powered models (the K25Z-4, for instance) are  capable of running at an amazing 18.8 E.E.R off the grid. That’s a stunning 180% more efficient than a conventional “energy efficient” 2-ton split ductless unit!

So what makes our technology so special? Well for one, we KISSed our design (Kept It Simply Solar)! Kingtec solar air conditioners are DC compressor-based air conditioners, with all the solar components built right into the unit. Our vision of the future air-condition was to build a device that was an all-in-one self–sufficient, energy saving solar powered system. And that’s what we’ve achieved! 

Our vision saw even further ahead in the future of air-conditioning, where Solar energy would always be the primary source of power. But our view of the future also saw an air conditioner that can run on batteries, either on or off the grid, via an AC to DC converter that was also neatly built into the unit. This unique futuristic design means that, as long as the sun is shining, the air-conditioner continues to run on solar power, delivering users 100% free AC during peak sun hours (corresponding to 3 hours on either side of solar noon). In addition, the design seeks to capture 60– 80% solar power on the other off peak sun hours. All in all, a pretty well designed sustainable vision for the future!

Echoing the concerns that Robert Swan voiced, Kingtec believes that it is up to us, the current generation of builders, planners, designers and visionaries to come up with future ideas to save our planet from its unsustainable path. However, Kingtec went one step further and acted on some of those ideas to come up with a truly sustainable design for the air conditioning of the future.