Innovation makes air conditioners greener

Air conditioners are a necessity for many to get through the scorching heat in the summer. However, apart from cooling down the air around us, they are also affecting the temperature of the planet Earth.

According to the UN Environment Program, half of the energy consumption of the buildings in the world comes from cooling and heating systems.

How to make air conditioning greener and more efficient has become an unavoidable topic for the refrigeration industry in today’s world where the growing demand for air conditioning and climate change are posing a dilemma.

China will strive to peak carbon dioxide emissions before 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality before 2060. It is a major strategic decision made by the country to build a community with a shared future for mankind and achieve sustainable development, as well as a solemn promise China makes to the world.

The next five years is critical for China to peak carbon dioxide emission. For energy sectors, it means both feeding more clean energy at the supply side and upgrading the ways of energy consumption and improving energy use efficiency at the client side.

Statistics indicated that refrigeration accounts for over 15 percent of China’s total power consumption, and air conditioners in large- and medium-sized cities contribute 60 percent of electrical load during peak summer months. As a result, a low-carbon reform in the manufacturing sector is imperative, and there is much to be explored.

Technological advances, especially new breakthroughs in core technologies, to a large extent decide how much the manufacturing sector can contribute to emission peak and carbon neutrality.

Chinese appliance manufacturer Gree and Tsinghua University have jointly developed a technology that is able to cut 85.7 percent of energy consumption in air conditioning. The technology was recently awarded a grand prize at the award ceremony of the Global Cooling Prize, which was signed up by 2,100 competing teams from nearly 100 countries and aims to explore breakthrough innovative technology in the refrigeration industry to solve climate challenges.

It is estimated that the cooling technology, once massively employed, could possibly reduce carbon emission by 100 billion tons by 2050, equivalent to the amount of carbon absorbed by 116 billion trees in 100 years.

Responding to global climate change is a common challenge and task facing all countries. China has always been a major participant, contributor, and champion in building a global ecological civilization.

The Gree-Tsinghua University technology has served over 6,000 projects in the world, marking another contribution of Chinese innovation to the world.

This explains from the side that whoever leads in energy conservation and emission reduction technologies can claim the high ground in global competition as the world tackles climate change and seeks sustainable development.

At present, Chinese industries are speeding up low-carbon transformation, so as to contribute more wisdom, solutions and strength to global energy conservation, emission reduction and green development.

Low-carbon transformation is a systematic project that concerns all links from the supply end to the consumer end. It calls for the firm resolution of industries to tackle challenges, as well as concrete efforts of all consumers.

If everyone can do something to curb global warning, for instance, setting air-conditioners at appropriate temperatures in the summer, choosing energy-efficient products as much as possible, and taking an active part in tree-planting activities, low-carbon development can be made a new fashion, and thus forming a synergy with technological innovation.

Zhong Yu, People’s Daily


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