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Energy-Efficient Air Conditioner From MIT

Many of us in the South cringe thinking of heat waves, electric bills, and summer. Everyone knows that air conditioners are practically a necessary evil — lusty energy takers. Even the very environmentally caring in America are somewhat sabotaged or spoiled when it comes to temperature.


When cold, one might wrap up, snuggle up, or light a fire. However, heat moves even hardcore environmentalists, moves them right to the thermostat. Plans of sparing energy melt away. Well, MIT researchers are doing their best to help our wanton air-conditioned ways.

MIT is are working on the most energy-efficient air conditioning system out there that could save a lot of energy… saving energy by following you. Green Optimistic describes it as something “like a puppy” (who longs to play constantly). Following you, the new system will make that space around you cool, as cool as you want it to be without exhausting the system to keep the whole house as cool.

This is good news, as we have not kicked our cooling habit and justify it all the time. Thank you, MIT. Of course, this is not yet a commercially available product, but hopefully it will get there before too long.

This this latest invention from a team working at the MIT’s SENSEable City Lab, is nothing like anything that we have seen before. The technology is called Cloud Cast, and it sort of does what the label says – it follows you around like a cloud follows the unlucky character from the fairy tales, only that here the “rain” is not bothering you, but rather it keeps you cool and comfortable.


Last year, the same team reported on the heating system, “called Local Warming, in Venice.” That technology was appreciated and got noticed “with its servo motors, lamps and motion tracking systems that allowed them to know precisely where people need heating.”

So why not do it again? With the desert environment in mind, Green Optimistic continues.

Showcased in Dubai earlier this week, the team unveiled the super water- and energy-efficient air conditioning system. It’s made of aluminum rods fitted with ultrasonic sensors that are mounted on the ceiling. The sensors detect the presence of people by sending pulses of signals. These signals are then transferred to a central control system, which activates hydro-valves and LED lights.

It makes sense that cooling the space around you is more efficient than a whole room. “Special nebulizers mist you to cool you down…. Unlike similar misting technologies, which simply spray water all over the place, this system works only on human-sized space, saving a lot of energy and water.”

Good going, MIT. Besides having one of our favorite humanitarian teachers, Noam Chomsky, as an educator, MIT is working green wonders. MIT also revealed a fallacy of hearsay in a study showing that wind farms don’t harm human health, but do annoy some people.

As far as air conditioners go, former CleanTechnica editor Ariel Schwartz had the chance to take a look at a Coolerado air-conditioning unit this past August at the West Coast Green Conference. She explains, “At the time, the company was showing off an energy-efficient model that uses thermodynamics to cool outside air without chemical refrigerants.”

Sounds good as well. Continuing, she explains more about this Coolerado solar-powered air conditioner: “According to Coolerado, any solar contractor can easily work with installers in the company’s network to add solar photovoltaic systems to air conditioning units.”

Related Stories:

Smart Control for Small Air Conditioning Units: tado° Cooling

Affordable, Solar-Powered Air Conditioning Via Partnership Between SolarCity And Carrier

Image: Sensable City Lab

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Written By

Cynthia Shahan started writing after previously doing research and publishing work on natural birth practices. (Several unrelated publications) She is a licensed health care provider. She studied and practiced both Waldorf education, and Montessori education, mother of four unconditionally loving spirits.


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