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Coolerado's super-efficient air conditioning expanded to include small
The clever M-cycle system uses consecutive stages of indirect
evaporative cooling along with a heat exchanger so that the humid air does not
enter the building but is effectively cooled while using as little as 10% as
much energy as the traditional air conditioner.
The newly-announced M30 is shown above next to
the human figure for size comparison.
CO Governor Bill Ritter, Mike Luby,
Rick Gillan, and Tim Heaton.
Pure Energy Systems News
Copyright © 2009
This last Monday I interviewed Mike
Luby, CEO of Coolerado, makers of a line of air conditioners that they say are the most efficient available able to cut AC energy usage by
as much as 90%. The Coolerado system uses a form of indirect evaporative cooling that relies on the Maisotsenko Cycle in which outside air is
cooled by evaporation and heat exchange through a series of plastic plates.
In contrast to a swamp cooler, the air that comes in contact with the moist
portion does not enter the building, but cools the adjacent air that does enter
the building through 20 consecutive stages of cooling powered by a simple fan
that pushes the air through the heart of the system.
They recently won a challenge by the University of California to boost AC efficiency, beating the U.S. Department of Energy standard by 60 percent during peak, and 80 percent on average. That unit is a commercial unit that is expected to be available this fall.
Monday, Coolerado Corporation announced a new central air conditioner sized for homes smaller than 1,500 square feet. The new system, called the M30, uses under 450 watts of power, less energy than what most homes without air conditioning use for portable, ceiling or whole house fans.
Coolerado products are Clean and Green Technology using no CFCs as refrigerants. They also provide a healthier environment by delivering 100% fresh air, flushing out stale air and pollutants.
Because the air conditioner is based on the principle of evaporation, it is best
suited to the Western states where the humidity is not so high. But
remember, the humid portion of air in their system does not enter the building
but is ducted out, so their air conditioners do not add humidity to the indoor
Though their units are a bit more pricey than a standard air conditioner, due to
the savings in electricity, a hot climate such as Arizona, could see a return on
investment in three months, while it might be more like 2-3 years in a cooler
climate like Idaho that doesn't need as much air conditioning.
Generally speaking, nearly half of the electrical demand in the country is for
air conditioning. Imagine reducing that by nearly ten-fold.
When I asked Mike about bacteria and the moist surfaces of the unit, he cited
the following factors:
- The air entering the building does not go across the wet surfaces but only
interacts with the polypropylene, dry surface of the heat exchanger.
- A biocide is used in the heat exchanger.
In tests on units installed sine 2005, no bacterial contamination has been
detected as a result of the Coolerado air conditioning units.
The easiest retrofit for the Coolerado system is where swamp coolers have been
used. In that case, it is merely a swap out scenario. A typical air
conditioner retrofit is more challenging, depending on where the HVAC is
located. A typical AC uses the fan in the heater system to circulate the
air through the building, whereas the Coolerado unit has a separate fan on the
front end, so the Coolerado ducting would need to be attached after the fan
section on the building's duct work. The attic retrofit installation is
usually the most difficult.
The company is presently focused on commercial applications, but with the
introduction Monday of their M30 residential unit, they are now entering that
market as well. Their product has been installed throughout the U.S.,
including in 32 federal and state buildings. They also have distributors
in Australia, India, Europe and elsewhere.
The amount of water used by the Coolerado is approximately two gallons per
ton-hour of cooling. When you take into consideration the water that is
used in a coal power plant for the steam, or the water that evaporates in a
hydroelectric dam, and consider the reduced electrical demand of the Coolerado
system, it turns out that the amount of water used by the Coolerado is about the
same as the water conserved by not requiring so much electricity.
The technology was invented by Dr. Valeriy Maisotsenko, formerly of the Soviet
Union, who defected to the U.S. in 1990. Coolerado secured patents and
wrapped some engineering around his concepts. Ironically, it was Dr.
Maisotsenko who came up with the "Coolerado" name of the
Here's an introductory video:
One of the things that I thought was pretty cool was the Coolerado
demonstration in which the humid portion of the air is ducted to the back side
of solar panels, cooling them off so they perform better.
Here's a video of their demonstrator unit for this concept.
They don't push this system for customers, but it is something to keep in mind
if you have a solar array or if you are planning one.
In summary, Mike pointed out that the Coolerado air conditioning technology
saves money, is healthy, and is good for the planet.
The privately-funded company does accept investment inquiries.
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Mike Luby Interview Audio
- Feel free to view or add your own comments to the publication of this
article at Examiner.com