Wind-Powered Air Conditioning

High power bills due to blasting the air conditioning in the summer can be a drag. Recently, researchers from the Malaviya National Institute of Technology in India have designed a natural, passive method for keeping indoor environments cool during hot summer days.

The system, which is designed for use in commercial buildings, integrates a wind tower and solar chimney into the building's architecture. The stone-covered wind tower would provide a draft of air cooled by the stones that flows through windows upward through the building. The draft would push the hotter inside air to the top of the building, where it would quickly escape through the chimney's large black, thermally conducting panels. The details of the design are published in a recent issue of the International Journal of Sustainable Design.

Mechanical engineer Jyotirmay Mathur and architect/urban designer Rajeev Kathpalia have determined that such a system could passively lower the inside temperature by about 5 degrees C (9 degrees F). The duo hopes that the combined solar chimney-wind tower concept could be incorporated into new urban buildings in Delhi, where temperatures can climb well over 100 degrees F.

"The combination of solar chimney and wind tower is found to be a good design option for urban buildings," the researchers conclude. "We have demonstrated how natural resources can be utilised to design sustainable buildings in an urban area where design of truly sustainable buildings is extremely difficult."

via: International Journal of Sustainable Design

Lisa Zyga
Science Blogger