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Why air conditioning as a service could have a huge impact on energy usage

The world needs to re-think how it stays cool and Singapore-based company Kaer Water may have the answers. They aim to revolutionise air conditioning building management by combining a breakthrough technology with a new business model that has already been trialled successfully in other sectors, including lighting.

Rising temperatures and a rapidly expanding global middle class are increasing demand for air-conditioning worldwide. The Netherlands Environmental Assessment agency even predicted that demand will have risen by more than 70% before 2100.

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However, if the sources of this increasing demand, places like India, Indonesia and Brazil use as much energy for air conditioning per person as the United States, all of the electricity that they generate would be insufficient to power those cooling systems. In fact, according to calculations by senior scientists at the Land Institute in Salina, Kansas, those countries would also need every watt generated by the UK, South Africa and Mexico.

That’s where Kaer may have a solution that reduces energy demand and offers better value for building owners. In their air conditioning as a service model:

Building owners purchase chilled water from Kaer at a fixed rate dollar per refrigerant ton hour and pay only for what they use. Kaer then takes over a building’s entire air conditioning system – inclusive of the chillers, cooling towers, pipe work, operations and maintenance. Kaer rebuilds or redesigns the system and takes on all future costs related to its operations and maintenance, including the bills for water, electricity and repairs. Kaer focuses on lowering the rate of energy consumption.

Machine learning and big data enable Kaer to optimise its systems, where they have achieved reported cost savings of over 70% through reduced energy consumption and better management.

It has been demonstrated that even the simplest optimisation can have a significant impact. The company reduced the Singapore campus of INSEAD Business School’s energy usage by 35% in just six months.

Kaer’s activities are currently restricted to Singapore and Malaysia, but its global potential is apparent. In Mumbai, 40% of all power consumption is accounted for by air conditioning, while even in cooler countries like Britain, 20% of the total electricity produced is used on air-con and refrigeration.

Source: Business Commission

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Seb Egerton-Read

Seb Egerton-Read

Seb writes daily content for Circulate across the full spectrum of the website's topics. Previously he has spent five years as a freelance writer for a number of websites and blogs. You can e-mail Seb at seb[at]circulatenews.org

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