Catching up with energy-efficient cooling systems: Coolerado

Catching up with energy-efficient cooling systems: Coolerado

Western Area Power Administration
April 2009
Link to article

Cooling season is fast approaching in some parts of Western’s territory, it’s already here so it is a good time to revisit two promising, energy-efficient, cooling technologies that could help utilities control this rapidly growing summer load. This month, Energy Services Bulletin looks at the Coolerado, which last appeared in the June 2005 issue.

Since its introduction five years ago, the Coolorado has evolved, gained wider acceptance and earned recognition. In late January, the Colorado Governor’s Energy Office presented the Denver-based Coolerado with the Governor’s Excellence in Renewable Energy Award. The award recognized Coolerado for developing a solar-powered mobile air conditioner, “The closest thing to free air conditioning,” as Coolerado Executive Vice President Rick Gillan described it.

Not typical evaporative cooler

Although the company refers to its equipment as an air conditioner, the system represents very different technologies. Utilities should take that into account when considering equipment for a rebate program, or recommending a particular technology to a customer.

The Coolerado, a type of indirect evaporative cooling system, can take the place of conventional air conditioners in most applications, especially in dry and semi-humid climates. Direct “swamp” coolers add moisture to cool an air stream, making it unsuitable for humid climates. In the indirect process, the air does not come in contact with water, but the temperature of the delivered air is typically warmer than a swamp cooler.

The Federal Energy Management Program described Coolerado as an ultra-cooler because its indirect evaporative process cools to significantly lower temperatures than a swamp cooler can, without adding humidity. A heat and mass exchanger (HMX) cools the air instead of water, as in a swamp cooler, or refrigerant and compressors, as in an air conditioner. The result is air-conditioner temperatures for about 15 percent of the electricity an air conditioner would use….(read more – link to article)