Help is on the way

It's getting colder in North America. And the bleak economic news may make it seem like spring has been cancelled.

It's getting colder in North America. And the bleak economic news may make it seem like spring has been cancelled. But much of the continent will once again be hitting the on-switch for air conditioning in less than nine months. And there's some good news. Help could be on the way. Help to curtail the amount of energy needed by current air contitioning technology.

The Barr Foundation and the Cambridge Energy Alliance awarded $30,000 to the two winners. The contest? Come up with a new design for radically energy-efficient cooling and dehumidifying residential and small commercial spaces.

From the contest press release: "John Barrie and Dr. Norbert Muller, were awarded $30,000 for the cooling technology which they submitted. Barrie and Muller’s solution was selected from 38 submissions, reviewed by a panel of national experts in the field.

"Kendra Tupper, a member of the panel of judges and a Senior Consultant with the Built Environment Team at the Rocky Mountain Institute said: 'We looked at a number of impressive designs, but this one really stood out because of its potential to consume significantly less energy and reduce peak demand compared to standard air conditioners. RMI believes that this extremely promising technology can break through the cost barrier with further development and will offer cost savings for consumers in the future'.”

You can read about this air conditioning challenge here.

I hope to speak with one of the winners and report back on what their innovation entails.