Using panels kept cold by water circulating within them, B.C. researchers compared thermal comfort in 60 of the world’s most populous cities, including Toronto. (Lea Ruefenacht)

Using panels kept cold by water circulating within them, B.C. researchers compared thermal comfort in 60 of the world’s most populous cities, including Toronto. (Lea Ruefenacht)

B.C. researchers use ‘lean air conditioning’ to combat spread of COVID particles

Dr. Adam Rysanek and his team have proven a new worthwhile system – a mixture of cooling panels and natural ventilation

UBC researchers have partnered with those from Princeton and Pennsylvania universities to present households with an air conditioning method that minimizes COVID-19 spread.

Dr. Adam Rysanek’s study with Building Decisions Research Group outlines adequate ventilation and air refresh are needed in order to kill virus particulates suspended in the air.

Typical air conditioners require closed windows, but Rysanek and his team have proven a new worthwhile system – a mixture of cooling panels and natural ventilation.

“You can think of it as lean A/C or, even better, as a green alternative to energy-guzzling air conditioning,” Rysanek said.

Using wall and ceiling panels kept cold by water circulating in them, researchers compared thermal comfort in 60 of the world’s most populous cities including Toronto and New York.

There, peak summer temperatures can soar higher than 35 degrees Celsius.

READ MORE: Canada updates COVID-19 guidelines to include airborne transmission

The B.C. researchers found their alternative cooling system not only increased protection against disease but also used less energy.

“If we continue to rely on conventional HVAC systems to increase indoor fresh air rates, we may actually double energy consumption,” Rysanek said.

Results, published this month in the COVID-19 edition of Applied Energy, show HVAC systems use up to 45 per cent more energy than the “Cold Tube” researchers designed.

“Radiant cooling systems, which allow them to keep their windows open even when it’s hot outside, can increase protection against disease while lessening the impact on the environment.”

RELATED: Health Canada releases guidelines for reducing COVID-19 transmission at home



sarah.grochowski@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism? Make a donation here.

CoronavirusUBC

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The Cariboo Regional District. (Angie Mindus photo)
Telus tower proposed for Horse Lake Road

CRD will consider a proposal for wireless telecommunications facility.

(Kamloops This Week file photo)
Probe into TNRD spending taken over by federal police unit

Financial Integrity Sensitive Investigations Unit is now reviewing the case

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
Stolen truck found broken down on Highway 97C, Williams Lake suspect arrested near Ashcroft

A security guard first noticed the truck, and thought it looked suspicious

Janet Wright, 82. has been skiing since she was in her 20s and has regularly skied 50 km a day at least once each winter just to prove she can. (Photo submitted)
Nordic skiers track record year, personal bests

Oban Chambers, 9, and Janet Wright, 82, clocked the most miles these season

Amanda Patterson is excited to open the South Cariboo Farmers' Market at the South Cariboo Rec Centre this Friday, May 7. (Kelly Sinoski photo, 100 Mile Free Press).
Farmers, crafters get set for market

South Cariboo Farmer’s Market opens on Friday, May 7.

Protesters attempt to stop clear-cutting of old-growth trees in Fairy Creek near Port Renfrew. (Will O’Connell photo)
VIDEO: Workers, activists clash at site of Vancouver Island logging operation

Forest license holders asking for independent investigation into incident

The Canadian Coast Guard icebreaker Louis S. St-Laurent sails past a iceberg in Lancaster Sound, Friday, July 11, 2008. The federal government is expected to end nearly two years of mystery today and reveal its plan to build a new, long overdue heavy icebreaker for the Canadian Coast Guard. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Vancouver, Quebec shipyards to each get new heavy icebreaker, cost remains a mystery

Vancouver’s Seaspan Shipyards and Quebec-based Chantier Davie will each build an icebreaker for the coast guard

Findings indicate a culture of racism, misogyny and bullying has gripped the game with 64 per cent of people involved saying players bully others outside of the rink. (Pixabay)
Misogyny, racism and bullying prevalent across Canadian youth hockey, survey finds

56% of youth hockey players and coaches say disrespect to women is a problem in Canada’s sport

People line up outside an immunization clinic to get their Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine in Edmonton, Tuesday, April 20, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Hospital investigating whether Alberta woman who died after AstraZeneca shot was turned away

Woman was taken off life support 12 days after getting vaccine

People line up for COVID-19 vaccination at a drop-in clinic at Cloverdale Recreation Centre on Wednesday, April 27, 2021. Public health officials have focused efforts on the Fraser Health region. (Aaron Hinks/Peace Arch News)
B.C.’s COVID-19 spread continues with 694 new cases Thursday

Two million vaccine doses reached, hospital cases down

Allayah Yoli Thomas had recently turned 12 years old when she died of a suspected drug overdose April 15. (Courtesy of Adriana Londono)
Suspected overdose death of Vancouver Island 12 year old speaks to lack of supports

Allayah Yoli Thomas was found dead by her friend the morning of April 15

More than 6,000 camping reservations in British Columbia were cancelled as a result of a provincial order limiting travel between health regions. (Unsplash)
1 in 4 camping reservations cancelled in B.C. amid COVID-19 travel restrictions

More than 6,500 BC Parks campsite reservations for between April 19 and May 25 have been revoked

B.C. average home price and sales level to 2023, showing steep drop in sales expected next year. (Central 1)
Forecast calls for B.C. home sales to ‘explode,’ then drop off

Average price to rise another 10% in 2021, credit unions say

Members of Vancouver Symphony Orchestra. (File photo)
B.C.-wide #DayOfMusic to feature 100-plus free virtual concerts May 15

‘Our colleagues across the province have figured out new ways to perform and connect,’ VSO boss says

Most Read