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

Just Posted

Items seized by RCMP during a May 13 raid on Butchart Street. (RCMP photo)
Chilliwack RCMP seize guns and drugs during raid on Butchart Street property

Police executed a search warrant on a home May 13, arresting one man at the scene

Transit Future Action Plan for Chilliwack and FVRD aimed at increasing services over five years and restoring ridership to pre-COVID levels. (BC Transit)
Future planning for Chilliwack transit aims to restore ridership lost to pandemic

Transit future plan envisions adding peak buses and service hours over next five years

Vancouver Canucks’ Jake Virtanen (18) and Calgary Flames’ Josh Leivo, front right, vie for the puck as goalie Jacob Markstrom, back left, watches during the first period of an NHL hockey game in Vancouver, on Saturday, February 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Vancouver Canucks forward Jake Virtanen sued over alleged sexual assault

Statement of claim says the woman, identified only by her initials, suffered physical and emotional damages

Looking out over the Fraser Valley from Chipmunk Ridge from the proposed Bridal Veil Mountain Resort. (BVMR)
Chance to ask questions about gondola resort proposal near Chilliwack

Project team for Bridal Veil Mountain Resort is holding another virtual info session

An avalanche near Highway 1 in Glacier National Park. Avalanche Canada will benefit from a $10 million grant from the B.C. government. (Photo by Parks Canada)
Avalanche Canada receives $10-million grant from B.C. government

Long sought-after funds to bolster organization’s important work

Relief is coming for B.C.’s struggling tourism sector. (NEWS file photo)
B.C. officials set to announce more support for tourism sector hit hard by pandemic

Non-essential travel is restricted between three regional zones in B.C. until at least May 24

This image released by Universal Pictures shows Nathalie Emmanuel, left, and Vin Diesel in a scene from "F9." (Giles Keyte/Universal Pictures via AP)
The blockbuster movie is making a comeback this summer

Excitement in the industry is growing again for a return to a big-screen normal

Sicamous RCMP Sgt. Murray McNeil and Cpl. Wade Fisher present seven-year-old Cody Krabbendam of Ranchero with an award for bravery on July 22, 2020. (Contributed)
7-year old Shuswap boy receives medal of bravery for rescuing child at beach

Last summer Cody Krabbendam jumped into the lake to save another boy from drowning

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry update the province’s COVID-19 vaccine program, May 10, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate stays below 500 a day over weekend

14 more deaths, down to 350 in hospital as of Monday

Royal Bay Secondary School’s rainbow crosswalk was vandalized shortly after being painted but by Monday, coincidentally the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia, the crosswalk had been cleaned up and students had surrounded it with chalk messages of support and celebration. (Zoe Ducklow/News Staff)
B.C. high’s school’s pride crosswalk restored following ‘hateful’ graffiti attack

Hate terms, racial slur, phallic images spray-painted at Greater Victoria high school

Terrance Mack would have celebrated his 34th birthday on May 13, 2021. Mack’s family has identified him as the victim of a homicide in an apartment on Third Avenue in Port Alberni sometime in April. (SUBMITTED PHOTO)
Family identifies Ucluelet man as victim of Vancouver Island homicide

Terrance Mack being remembered as ‘kind, gentle’ man

Linda Annis, executive director of Metro Vancouver Crime Stoppers, at press conference Monday. (Submitted photo)
Crime Stoppers receiving $200K from province for ‘Guns and Gangs’ tip line campaign

Executive director Linda Annis broke the news Monday morning in Surrey

Most Read