Global Cooling Prize reveals field testing results

The Global Cooling Prize team has completed the field test portion of the prize, and has now started lab testing at CEPT University.

The Global Cooling Prize is an innovation competition that seeks to incentivise development of a residential cooling solution that will have at least five times less climate impact than standard room air conditioners in the market today.

In November 2019, eight finalists were chosen and awarded US$200,000 each to develop and ship their prototypes to India for testing. Represented were some of the world’s largest air conditioner manufacturers (including Daikin, Gree and Haier), start-ups and corporations, and one university.

The technology on display ranged from optimised versions of current vapour-compression systems, to more novel technologies such as solid state barocaloric cooling and desiccant dehumidification.

After the global pandemic forced delays in the prize timetable, field testing finally began in October last year at the Tata New Haven site in Bahadurgarh. Due to COVID-19, the units were installed and virtually commissioned via livestream to the finalists located around the world.

The Global Cooling Prize team has produced a video of the field testing, which can be viewed below.

“Following a full month of field testing, we are thrilled to share that multiple of our finalists met or even exceeded the climate impact and operational criteria of the prize,” say the organisers. A snapshot of anonymised performance for all 31 days of testing can be found on the Prototype Performance Dashboard.

One prototype – dubbed Team Polar – produced particularly impressive results. Over the final five days of field testing, it operated at around 2 per cent of the climate impact of the benchmark model while maintaining an indoor temperature of around 25°C and humidity of around 50 per cent. Efficiency is being tested in relation to meeting sensible loads, and latent loads.

The prototypes are now undergoing a test of simulated full-year operation at the CEPT University lab in Ahmedabad.

Winners will be announced at a fully virtual award ceremony in April 2021.

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