Sunday, November 11, 2012

Three power levels for air-conditioning to save power

On my visit to Indonesia the mains power failed several times. As with many developing nations there is a shortage of electrical generating capacity, as well as storms interrupting distribution. A large draw is from air-conditioning. I suggest setting up air-conditioning systems to run at three power levels: a low power mode during a blackout to run from batteries, medium mode during peak periods when power prices are high and normal power mode the rest of the time.

During a blackout the air conditioning function could be switched off completely, but fans kept running to circulate air. At peak times the air conditioning would only supply critical areas. For homes a useful limit would be 2400 Watt for the air conditioner during peak times (the maximum amount available through a domestic power outlet).

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