The demand of air conditioning systems is rising significantly, mostly in the form of conventional air conditioning systems like splits: at the same time the worker’s concern over poor Indoor Air Quality is confirming the need of air coolers that do not rely on recirculating the indoor air.
In the UK we use almost one tenth of the whole energy consumption to cool buildings with air conditioning. Surprising, isn’t it? This results have been highlighted in a BRE study looking at energy use by air conditioning in non-domestic buildings, backed by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.
The study reveals that 65% of office space and 30% of retail space are now air conditioned and that cooling in offices typically uses around 40kWh/m2 per year.
Air conditioning was often used even when buildings are unoccupied (for example in the evenings and at weekends). Even heatwaves have risen in the past years, from 5 in 1961 to 17 in 2003 in south-east England, confirming the importance of air conditioning in the workspaces.
The Analysis confirms that more than half of air conditioning systems in the UK are split system, based on the recirculation of the air and not on taking fresh air from the outside. This often leads to stagnation of germs and bacteria, especially in industrial spaces where fumes and pollution are involved.
The rising need of indoor air quality is confirmed by a YouGov survey, commissioned by the Building Engineering Services Association (BESA): according to this survey, almost 70% of UK workers believe poor indoor air quality has a negative impact on their health.
In this scenario, Evaporative air cooling can be a perfect solution for industrial spaces where indoor air pollution is involved, because it relies on leading clean and healthy air from the outside to the building, with no risk of recirculating fumes, germs or odours. Doors and windows can be left open, or an extractor fan can be used to let the air full of particles outside, with absolutely no loss in cooling efficiency.
In particular, an evaporative cooler can consume up to 80% less energy than a conventional air conditioning system, because it only uses water and electricity to run.