Energy consumption for cooling buildings in Europe is predicted to double between 2010 -2020. The summertime peak electrical load in many countries is associated with demand for air-conditioning.
Passive cooling measures contribute to reducing both...
total electrical energy demand and peak electrical energy demand. Evaporative cooling was identified by The University of Nottingham as a viable option for hot and dry climates.
The EC funded project: 'Passive Downdraught Cooling Systems using Porous Ceramic Evaporators' (2001 – 2003) involved collaboration between University of Nottingham, E. Ibraheem, WSP Environmental (UK) and Axima (Switzerland).
This involved the design, manufacture and laboratory testing of two innovative systems incorporating porous ceramic evaporators, which led to three patents granted in 2001, 2002 and 2005.
The project was followed by the project 'Promotion and Dissemination of Passive & Hybrid Downdraught Cooling' (2005 – 2010) that involved eight partners in Europe, China and India.
It included original post-occupancy studies of five buildings in the USA and Europe that revealed that downdraught cooling can achieve significant energy and life-cycle cost savings compared with conventional air-conditioning.
One of the key outputs from the research has been the mapping of climatic applicability in Europe and China.
Mapping applicability is of major benefit to architects and their clients wanting to establish preliminary feasibility.
Research at The University of Nottingham has directly influenced: the design and construction of exemplar buildings in the Middle East, India and southern Europe, which demonstrate the benefits of passive downdraught cooling. It has also led to the development of components in Spain and Israel; and has indirectly influenced architects and engineers around the world, with consequent environmental, social and economic impact.