The Center for Energy Technology (ZET) at the University of Bayreuth, in Bayreuth, Germany, announcement that it provided a commercial-size air conditioning system using CO2 (R744) as refrigerant at Kulmbach Vocational School Center (BSZ), Kulmbach, Germany, for vocational training and research.
The construction of the system was part of a project called FutureClimate – Development of Sustainable Air Conditioning Concepts, carried out at ZET. The Bavarian Ministry of the Environment and Consumer Protection funded the project with approximately €240,000 (US$242,000) over three years.
Research work focuses on the use of environmentally friendly refrigerants, in particular CO2, for the air conditioning of buildings. CO2 AC will not be commercialized, said Florian Heberle, general manager of ZET.
“The test bed and its design are strongly linked to teaching and research tasks,” he said. “However, we had a solid and valuable collaboration with the Bitzer company during this research project.”
CO2 air conditioners or heat pumps for buildings are relatively rare on the market. An example, from Swiss OEM Biaggini Frigoriferi, are two reversible chillers installed last year in a shopping center in Switzerland.
“The air conditioning system installed today gives BSZ students access to the latest research know-how,” said BSZ Director Alexander Battistella. “As future specialists, they can use this system to develop an understanding of important energy technology problems that need to be solved while meeting strict ecological requirements.”
Fewer GHGs released
CO2 The air conditioning system releases “significantly less greenhouse gases than conventional air conditioning systems and illustrates the great ecological potential of this type of system,” ZET said.
Assuming typical climatic conditions for Germany, greenhouse gas emissions from air conditioning systems can be reduced by around 26% through the use of CO₂, according to ZET.
Moreover, assuming that the currently planned expansion of renewable energy in the electricity sector is realized, “the CO₂ air conditioning system will even reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 49% in 2050 compared to to the current state of the art,” Zet said.
Additionally, studies at ZET have shown that the control strategies used in the operation of air conditioning systems can significantly influence greenhouse gas emissions.
“The air conditioning system installed today gives BSZ students access to the latest research know-how.”
Alexander Battistella, Vocational School Center Kulmbach (BSZ)
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