From: Editor, Science Daily
Published October 23, 2012 08:24 AM

Air Conditioning Consumes One Third of Peak Electric Consumption in the Summer

Air conditioning in homes may account for up to one third of electricity use during periods in the summer when the most energy is required in large cities, according to a study carried out by Carlos III University of Madrid (UC3M) and the Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (Spanish National Research Council -- CSIC). The research attempts to determine not only the amount of energy that is consumed, but also its environmental impact.

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The aim of the research, which was carried out by scientists from the Unidad Asociada de Ingeniería de Sistemas Energéticos (Energy Systems Engineering Unit) CSIC-UC3M, was to quantify the energy consumed by residential air conditioning in a city and to determine how much energy could be saved by improving the efficiency of the equipment.

"We have seen that one third of the energy consumed during peak electrical use in Madrid could be due to air conditioning," comments el UC3M Professor Amancio Moreno, of the Department of Thermal and Fluids Engineering. "This means that if we can improve the efficiency of the air conditioners, or change the source of energy that they use, we could lower peak electrical demand, which would be very interesting information for electric companies and for reshaping the entire electrical grid in general," he concludes.

In order to carry out this study, which was recently published in the scientific journal Energy, the researchers simulated electrical consumption in the Autonomous Community of Madrid. To do this, they used data from the Instituto Nacional de Estadística (National Institute of Statistics) on the number of households and the number of climate control and air-conditioning systems installed in the Community. Afterwards, based on the seasonal consumption of the machines, they extrapolated the level of consumption by the entire population. The researchers point out that this method can be adapted for use in other regions.

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