The Global Cooling Prize is a global competition designed to spur development of a radically more energy efficient cooling technology.
The competition was developed by the Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI), a Colorado-based sustainability research and consulting organisation with a special focus on profitable innovations for energy and resource efficiency. It aims to combat the critical climate threat that comes from growing residential air conditioning demand.
The prize is open to entries from around the world, with the task of designing a room air conditioner for a typical tropical or sub-tropical home that consumes five times less grid-supplied electricity, per unit of cooling, than a typical unit in operation today.
Thirty per cent of the world’s population is already exposed to potentially lethal heat conditions, and it is predicted that the number will rise to three-quarters by 2100. When combined with the atmospheric impact of the refrigerants utilised by these systems, the energy consumption associated with mechanical cooling represents one of the single largest end-use risks to our climate.
The competition will be administered by RMI, Conservation X Labs, Alliance for an Energy Efficient Economy (AEEE), and CEPT University, with high-level leadership, guidance and support from the Department of Science and Technology, India and other major funders.
The prize will be launched in November 2018 and will be open for a period of two years. At least US$2 million in intermediate prize money will be awarded to support prototype development by shortlisted teams. These prototypes will be tested for performance in both laboratory and real-world conditions in a heat-stressed city in India. The ultimate winner will be awarded at least US$1 million to support commercialisation and scaling of their innovative technology.