Can you imagine a life in hot and humid Singapore without the air-conditioner?
Temasek might have just helped to develop an alternative to the beloved (but environmentally unfriendly) appliance that exists in close to 80 per cent of all Singaporean homes.
Eight new bladeless fan systems have been installed in Singapore by Phononic, an American electronics company, on Thursday (Nov 14) as part of a Temasek-backed pilot program.
But these are no ordinary fans. The Outdoor Active Cooling in Singapore (OACIS) bladeless fan is the first of its kind in the world, and can lower surrounding ambient temperatures by up to 10 degrees Celsius, while decreasing humidity by up to 15 per cent in the immediate area, Phononic said.
Currently, the OACIS can be found at Clarke Quay’s Octapas restaurant, and play areas in Jurong Lake Gardens. Installations at other outdoor sites will continue throughout the rest of the year, including at Gardens by the Bay, a media statement said.
According to the company from North Carolina, OACIS has an air flow rate that’s 75 per cent lower than an industrial bladed fan and also uses up to half the energy of an industrial fan, depending on the operating mode and ambient temperature.
Lim Hock Chuan, chief executive at Temasek Foundation Ecosperity, said that the cooling system is a “disruptive climate control project” that harnesses the potential of solid-state technology “beyond refrigeration and into sustainable active cooling”.
Further enhancements, additional installments and mass production of the bladeless fan are scheduled for 2020, with Temasek’s help.
Temasek has invested US$1 million (S$1.4 million) in the company to help develop the project, according to a Bloomberg report.
CO2 emissions from air-conditioners will rival that of global automobiles by 2050
Meant to combat the explosive growth of air conditioning globally, the bladeless fan uses safe and non-toxic refrigerants including low-pressure carbon dioxide and water.
According to Phononic, carbon dioxide emissions from leaking refrigerants used in air conditioning is projected to rival that from global automobile emissions by 2050. Numerous reports have also said that the International Energy Agency expects carbon dioxide emissions from cooling systems to double from 1.1 billion tones in 2016 to 2.1 billion tonnes in 2050.
- The Straits Times
The new sustainable fan leverages on thermoelectric cooling instead of compressor-cooling like other traditional outdoor fans, the company added.
Thermoelectric cooling uses a solid state heat pump to transfer heat from one side of the device to the other by using the direction electrical currents, a report by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) said.
And there’s more good news. According to Phononic, there is a possibility for OACIS to be integrated into the heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems of residential and commercial buildings in future. This will lower the overall infrastructure energy consumption, it said.
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