Eight finalists in Global Cooling Prize

Eight finalists are now selected for the Global Cooling Prize. Seven of the solutions are using technologies to remove humidity from the air, which makes cooling less energy intensive. The eighth solution uses phase transition in crystals to change temperature.

The Global Cooling Prize is initiated by Rocky Mountain Institute. Its aim is to support development of a cooling solution that has minimal environmental impact, is affordable and can be used in existing homes. The prize was launched in November 2018, the finalists were presented this November, and the final award ceremony will be held by the end of 2020.

The eight finalists are selected from a total of 139 technical applications, from 31 countries around the globe. Each of the finalist teams are awarded $200,000 to continue developing their ideas so that they can be tested in real environment. The final winner is awarded with at least $1 million.

These are the finalists, and their solutions in brief:

Barocal Ltd, co-operating with researchers at the University of Cambridge’s Department of Materials Science and Metallurgy.

A solid-state cooling technology is developed, where standard-type refrigerants is not needed. Through applying a pressure, the molecular orientation in organic crystals is changed resulting in a phase transition. This causes an entropy change and thus a temperature change which could be applied to either water or air. The crystal materials are cheap, available and non-toxic.

Daikin Airconditioning India private Ltd and Daikin Industries Ltd co-operating with Nikken Sekkei Ltd.
The cooling solution combines two methods. Firstly, a multi-split method makes it possible to connect three indoors units to one outdoors unit. In this way the refrigerant flow rate for the indoors units is optimized. Secondly, an evaporating cooling method lowers the temperature of ingoing air and water will be sprayed if the ambient temperature is high. A low-GWP refrigerant will be used.

Godrej and Boyce Mfg. Co. Ltd. co-operating with A.T.E. Enterprises Private Ltd.
The hybrid cooling technology integrates a vapor compression system with advanced evaporating technology. In the first step, the air is cooled by evaporative cooling. Then the air can be sent directly indoors or through the compressor system. The system uses a refrigerant with low GWP. A PV panel is integrated to reduce the need for bought electricity.

Gree co-operating with Tsinghua University
The hybrid solution has three operating modes: vapor compression refrigeration, direct evaporative cooling, and ventilation. These modes may be run individually or in parallel due to weather conditions. The evaporator and condenser systems have improved design, using much less energy than normally. The system uses a low-GWP refrigerant and has an integrated PV panel.

Kraton Corporation co-operating with Indian Institute of Technology, Prous Laboratories and Infosys
The hybrid cooling solution uses a new-developed polymer membrane for dehumidification, integrated with an evaporation system. No refrigerant is needed in the system. Firstly, the electro-osmotic membrane is making the air dry. The moving air is then passing a direct evaporating system and cooled down in the process.

M2 Thermal solutions
An evaporative cooler is combined with membrane technology to create cooling. No refrigerant or compressor is used in the system. In the first step, the evaporative cooler cools and humidifies the indoors air. The air is then passed through a membrane system which decreases the humidity. It is possible to bypass one of the processes if only ventilation is needed.

S&S Design Startup solution private Ltd
This hybrid cooling solution combines a two-stage cooling system with direct evaporative condenser cooling. The two-stage system includes a water loop that pre-cools the indoors air, and a vapor compression stage where the air is further cooled and also dehumidified. The condenser also cools some of the air. The system uses DC components for easy integration with renewable power sources.

Transaera Inc.
An air conditioner is combined with a moisture storage battery, MSB. The MSB dehumidifies the air, which is then cooled by the air conditioner. The MSB material is new-developed and can absorb a lot of water vapor. The battery is regenerated through waste heat from the vapor compression system. The system has an integrated PV panel.