THE FUTURE IS BRIGHT.
- New technology will surface to help cut down the current HVAC systems deterioration of the environment.
- Alternative energy options will become more commercially viable.
- HVAC systens will incorporate more of Smart technology.
- Population growth will lead to increased demand and Use of HVAC systems.
- Hybrid options will tried.
We live in a world of varying temperatures. Thermal comfort is desired by man. Similarly, refrigeration is desirable in food preservation, medicine, pharmaceutical industry, mortuaries etc. Air conditioners and refrigerators use a large amount of energy. They make use of harmful chemicals which remove the heat thereby cooling the air. This is great when you’re feeling hot but the environment is greatly degraded. Research and development on air-conditioning and refrigeration systems will never stop probably until we have the most energy efficient and environmentally friendly systems. The chemicals in use in this HVAC systems are terrible for the ozone layer and are more potent than Carbon dioxide. A look at the Global warming potential of 100 years for several greenhouse gases will indicate the extent of damage to the environment.
The future of refrigeration and air- conditioning will see extensive development of other technologies. Few of them with potentials for development explained below:
- Magnetic cooling Technology
A magnet is brought to a magnetic field where it then heats up. When it reaches a gap in the field it cools down instantly, which then cools down the enclosed area. Electricity is still used to power the magnetic material but far less compared to what is in use in systems. This technology is still be tested.
- Thermoacoustics Technology
A loudspeaker to turn electricity into sound waves which pushes helium back and forth to condense the gas. Once this has been achieved, the helium absorbs heat from the space. This method is very harmless to the environment. It be at the forefront of future HVAC systems development.
- Shape Memory Alloy Technology
An alloy can return back to its original state when heated up. This can removes heat from an enclosed space as it absorbs it.
- Solid material coolant Technology
Conventional air-conditioners and refrigerators employ refrigerants such as CFC to absorb heat from the enclosed spaces. Heat is usually expelled outside which require electrically powered pumps and compressors. To conserve energy, researchers plan to replace coolant fluids with solid materials such as bismuth telluride. Such HVAC systems will not have moving parts therefore minimal need for maintenance.
Specially made membranes can also be used to cool air by condensing water. These technologies are being developed by researchers.
The main source of hydroflurocarbons is air— conditioning and refrigeration systems. A global phase down on the production and consumption of hydrofluocarbons is on the way. In 2016, many countries met in Vienna to discuss on these issues. The Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer also addressed this ozone depleting substances. This will result in a surge in coolant research and development.
Many other technologies exist already and they are marketed by companies. Most of them have made use of alternative energy. As time progresses, they will become more ubiquitous which the commercial viability has been established.
The Population of the world is increasing . There will be an increased demand on refrigeration for food and drugs. Buildings and infrastructure development will increase and result in increased use and demand of HVAC systems.