Earlier, air conditioning was a
luxury offered only to the privileged few; but in this contemporary time,
though, it is normal and has become a necessity or part of life. Along with its
presence in residences, it is found in offices and in a few public transport
systems as well. It has become a part of the lives of many individuals, and
they got adapted to it. Energy consumed by air conditioning systems has tripled
since 1990, and no other building end-use is growing as fast as an Air
Conditioner. Air conditioning not only makes up a significant and growing share
of energy consumption, but it is also the primary contributor to peak demand in
many countries across the world.
More than 70 percent of residential peak electrical demand on a distribution system can be attributed to air conditioning equipment. Peak electrical demand stresses distribution systems around the world, and often disproportionately impacts developing economies because their transmission grids may be ill-equipped to handle high-demand occurrences. Building and maintaining the infrastructure to accommodate increasing peak demand requires significant investments, which are only necessary for brief periods each year.
The main objective of the project supported by a grant from the ClimateWorks Foundation to Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) is to improve the testing standards for super-efficient, climate-friendly, and affordable cooling technologies. The key features of the project are: