Gree is grand winner of 2021 Global Cooling Prize

 Air conditioning giant Gree has been named grand winner of the 2021 Global Cooling Prize (GCP), a ground-breaking innovation competition designed to develop a climate-friendly residential cooling solution.

Gree is represented in the UK by Klima-Therm. Its ‘Zero Carbon Source’ cooling technology integrates advanced vapour compression refrigeration, photovoltaic direct-driven, evaporative cooling and ventilation using renewable energy and free cooling sources.

The company explained: “The vapour compression refrigeration system… uses an ingenious compressor with a low global warming potential refrigerant in conjunction with improved design of evaporator and evaporative condenser to more effectively control indoor temperature and relative humidity.

“Furthermore, the photovoltaic direct-driven technology further lowers the overall grid electricity consumption. This climate-adaptive residential air conditioner has five times lower climate impact than today’s conventional air conditioners.”

It added: “Gree’s cooling solution highlights how the upper efficiency limit of today’s predominant technology—vapor compression technology—can be largely expanded through smart, hybrid design.

Ms Dong Mingzhu, chair and president of Gree Electric Appliances, said: “Gree is a diversified technological global industrial group that has expanded its business to household consumer goods and industrial equipment, and it insists on continuous innovation and R&D to improve people’s lives.

“The climate-friendly air conditioning technology awarded the Grand Winner at the Global Cooling Prize will reduce the carbon emission impact of existing air conditioners by 80%.”

The GCP is committed to developing breakthrough innovative cooling technologies that have five times less climate impact than standard air conditioning units available on the market toda.

It was launched in 2018 by Rocky Mountain Institute, the government of India and Mission Innovation, a global initiative working to accelerate the development of clean energy.

Gree, the world’s largest manufacturer of residential air conditioners, has more than 570 laboratories, 8,000 R&D engineers, 52 research centres, 20,000 technology patents including over 6,000 invention patents. 

Gree is dedicated to producing pioneering products and a comprehensive range of air conditioning solutions. All its systems are designed to provide the highest energy efficiency class on the market.

The competition offers up to $3 million in prize money and is designed to incentivise the development of a residential cooling solution that will have at least five times less climate impact than standard currently available residential/ room air conditioners units.

www.gree.uk.com

Top AC manufacturer Gree wins 2021 Global Cooling Prize

Gree global cooling prize

Air conditioning giant Gree has been named joint winner of the Global Cooling Prize, a ground-breaking innovation competition designed to develop a climate-friendly residential cooling solution. Gree shared the prize with Daikin India.

Gree, the world’s largest manufacturer of residential air conditioners, worked with Beijing-based Tsinghua University to develop a hybrid solution with three modes – vapour compression refrigeration, direct evaporative cooling, and ventilation – switching between each or operating them in parallel depending on external temperatures and environmental conditions.

Gree’s ‘Zero Carbon Source’ cooling technology exploits renewable energy and free cooling sources. The company explained: “The vapour compression refrigeration system… uses an ingenious compressor with a low global warming potential refrigerant in conjunction with improved design of evaporator and evaporative condenser to more effectively control indoor temperature and relative humidity.

“Furthermore, the photovoltaic direct-driven technology further lowers the overall grid electricity consumption. This climate-adaptive residential air conditioner has five times lower climate impact than today’s conventional air conditioners.”

Ms Dong Mingzhu, chair and president of Gree Electric Appliances, said: “Gree is a diversified technological global industrial group that has expanded its business to household consumer goods and industrial equipment, and it insists on continuous innovation and R&D to improve people’s lives.

“The climate-friendly air conditioning technology awarded the Grand Winner at the Global Cooling Prize will reduce the carbon emission impact of existing air conditioners by 80%.”

Gree has more than 570 laboratories, 8,000 R&D engineers, 52 research centres, 20,000 technology patents including over 6,000 invention patents. 

Gree is dedicated to producing pioneering products and a comprehensive range of air conditioning solutions. All its systems are designed to provide the highest energy efficiency class on the market.

The Global Cooling Prize, which is backed by entrepreneur Sir Richard Branson, is rallying a global coalition of leaders to solve the critical climate threat that comes from growing demand for residential air conditioning.

The competition offers up to $3 million in prize money and is designed to incentivise the development of a residential cooling solution that will have at least five times less climate impact than standard currently available residential/ room air conditioners units.

INDUL linear diffusers installed at the Öschberghof resort

Indul Linear Öschberghof Hotel

Draughts are the scourge of any ventilated space because they can have a dramatic negative impact on the comfort of building occupants as well as wasting energy.

Managing draughts involves a subtle balancing act – allowing air to move in order to achieve the right number of air changes while, at the same time, ensuring the velocity of air currents don’t reach a level that causes distress.

Designing the right technology to achieve draught-free air distribution can be a real challenge. It is a challenge that was met at Öschberghof, an impressive 126-room luxury hotel complex on the edge of the Black Forest in Germany featuring a vast 45-hole golf course, five conference rooms, a ballroom and lavish 5,000m² spa area.

INDUL linear diffusers from Kiefer, and supplied in the UK by Klima-Therm, were installed throughout the resort, including the Esszimmer and Ösch Noir restaurants, and in the hotel’s lobby area. 

The gourmet Esszimmer restaurant features a particularly high gabled roof and there were concerns that this would result in uneven ventilation in the restaurant. To ensure that this didn’t happen, the diffusers are arranged in an unusual configuration as horizontal line elements within the pitched roof. 

Fitting the linear diffusers at different heights enables a consistent flow pattern and uniform ventilation throughout the restaurant. Track lighting between the diffusers continues the linear look to create a harmonious and aesthetically pleasing visual impression. 

The focus in the hotel’s lobby area was on the spectacular ceiling design. However, the glass spheres that define the interior led to an unusual brief in terms of the ventilation technology – the need to generate adequate air flow without causing the spheres to move.

INDUL linear diffusers are perfect for this type of application because their ingenious design allows supply air to be divided into fine individual jets which mean it can be distributed into the room at an angle of 45° alternately to the left and to the right. The result is a particularly uniform distribution of air with an optimal diffuse ambient air flow and no noticeable draughts.

The Ösch Noir Michelin star restaurant, meanwhile, features INDUL linear diffusers neatly installed where two different ceiling areas meet. Unobtrusive and visually modest, the INDUL linear diffuser technology offers effective ventilation, even in the centre of the room.

INDUL slimline linear diffusers, which can be installed quickly and easily in exceptionally narrow widths from just 15mm, are available in a range of designs to meet the toughest demands in terms of both ventilation comfort and attractive ceiling design. 

The design of the units is particularly clever. By dividing supply air into fine alternating free jets, the induction of ambient air is intensified. This permits a substantial temperature differential between the ambient air and supply air and, in particular, the use of free cooling. The required cooling capacity is reduced to a minimum.

Energy efficiency is further improved by aa well-insulated plenum box which dramatically cuts energy losses despite the low temperatures. And thanks to the use of recycled aluminium, the INDUL air diffuser scores highly on lifecycle costs, as evaluated by current certification systems.

The diffusers’ free jet characteristics prevent dirt deposits along the air diffuser, keeping ceilings dust-free for longer.

And INDUL installation accessories enable quick and straightforward installation and adjustment. Indeed, the plug-in system for in-line and single installation has proven its worth many times over. 

Finally, a clever plaster bracket design facilitates installation of INDUL linear diffusers in plasterboard ceilings if required. It also protects the discharge profile during painting and plastering work thanks to the protective strip supplied.

F Gas regulations – Stepping on the gas

f gas phasedown

It has long been recognised that fluorinated gases (or F-gases) represent a clear and present danger to the environment. Although F-gases don’t damage the atmospheric ozone layer, they are nonetheless powerful greenhouse gases, with a global warming impact up to 23,000 times greater than carbon dioxide (CO2).

Emissions of F-gases in Europe almost doubled between 1990 and 2014. However, thanks to EU legislation on fluorinated gases – namely, the F-gas Regulation – F-gas emissions have been falling steadily since 2015.

Unfortunately, there remains as great deal of confusion over the F-gas Regulation and how it is applied.

The first F-gas Regulation was adopted in 2006 and succeeded in stabilising EU F-gas emissions at 2010 levels. However, on 1 January 2015 it was replaced by Regulation (EU) 517/2014 – the ‘F-gas Regulation’. Among other things, this regulation is designed to cut the EU’s F-gas emissions by two-thirds by 2030 compared with 2014 levels.

However, in July 2020, the European Commission (EC) launched a public consultation of Regulation 517 (which closed at the end of 2020). 

This is designed to evaluate how well the Regulation has functioned and analyses policy options to improve the F-gas Regulation. Based on the results of the consultation supplemented by the work of external experts, the EC will assess if and how it can further improve the Regulation. A proposal for a new Regulation is expected by end of 2021.

Brexit is unlikely to change the UK’s position on F-gases, according to REFCOM. It has said: “The regulations we currently work within will remain exactly as they are at the moment: phase down steps, service and product bans either in place or coming into force – all will continue as planned over the coming years.”

Brexit has resulted in F-gas certificates issued by UK certification bodies no longer being recognised in EU member states. Thanks to an initiative set up by the Irish Republic, however, there’s hope for certified operatives who would like to work both in the Ireland and in the EU.

UK F-gas personnel certificates and training attestations will be recognised in Ireland until 30th June 2021 as long as they were issued before 31st December 2021.

But the equivalent Irish scheme for companies holding UK certification ended on 31 December 2020. Companies wishing to work in Ireland and the rest of the EU now need to obtain a recognised certification from one of the 27 EU member states.

The current F-gas Regulation sets out a timetable for various different sectors and uses of different refrigerants where the sale of these systems/applications becomes illegal after certain dates.

The use of virgin fluorinated greenhouse gases (HFCs) with a Global Warming Potential (GWP) of 2500 or more to service or maintain refrigeration equipment with a charge of 40 tonnes CO2 equivalent or more has been prohibited since 1 January 2020.

There are, however, several alternatives to high-GWP HFCs used as refrigerants. One example is CO2 – aka R744 – a natural refrigerant with an Ozone Depleting Potential (ODP) of 0 and a GWP of just 1.

CO2 offers a high refrigeration capacity and lower pressure drops in pipework and heat exchangers. It is generally non-corrosive, non-flammable and exhibits low toxicity. Furthermore, it is inexpensive to produce and widely available. And, finally and crucially, there is no legislation currently planned to phase it out.