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IPFS News Link • Entrepreneurship

Air conditioning is a climate disaster and Bill Gates is investing in this startup to fix it

• by Catheri

Blue Frontier's air conditioner uses a salt solution as a liquid desiccant to do both the cooling and dehumidification work that is done by refrigerants in conventional air conditioner units.

That's key because refrigerants are bad for the environment and also the salt solution can be a store of energy, which evens out peak energy demand in the hottest days of summer, for example.

Air conditioning has the potential to keep people cool as climate change keeps making the planet hotter. At the same time, conventional air conditioning technology uses a lot of energy, meaning it's contributing to climate change — and will have a bigger effect as more people need air conditioners to stay comfortable or even survive.

Currently, air conditioning is responsible for nearly 4% of global greenhouse gas emissions, according to an analysis by scientists from the Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory and Xerox's Palo Alto Research Center released in March. Those emissions are expected to get worse as more people install air conditioners, especially in India, China, and Indonesia, according to a joint statement from the NREL and Xerox PARC.