Technology is changing our ability to conserve energy. Here’s a look at four inventions we may see coming to market in the future that could make HVAC systems more efficient.
MIT’sSenseable City Lab has come up with a heating and cooling system the heats or cools only the immediate space being occupied. Sensors detect where persons are present and only that space is heated or cooled. The heating and cooling follow people as they move through a space.
Cromasun, an Australian company, has developed a dual-fuel air conditioning chiller that operates on heat from solar collectors and natural gas to eliminate the need for electricity. It can use sunlight during the day to harvest solar thermal energy and supplement the heat with gas when the sun is not present or sufficient to provide the necessary heat. The sun’s energy is free, and gas is a cheaper source of heat than electricity.
Taco Comfort Solutions has developed a recirculating pump that provides constant hot water at the tap, so no water is wasted while waiting for hot water to arrive from the water heater. The pump circulates cooled water in the hot water line back to the water heater through the cold-water line to be reheated instead of dumped down the drain. It is estimated the average house wastes about 12,000 gallons of water each year waiting for hot water to arrive at the tap.
A company called Ecovent has developed a smart technology wireless vent control that allows a regular heating system to maintain each room at a different desired level of comfort while avoiding creation of pressure differential problems that occur with manually controlled vents. Each vent is connected to sensors to maintain desired room temperature and a uniform static pressure. They work on ordinary forced air systems with smart thermostats. Temperature of individual rooms can also be controlled from a smart phone.