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Discover 2019’s Most Read Top Stories

Discover 2019’s Most Read Top Stories

Adiabatic Cooling for a Data Center Tops List of Most Read Articles

From ASHRAE Journal Newsletter, Dec. 23, 2019

From district cooling to waste heat to cool bricks to geothermal energy, the five most clicked articles in this year’s ASHRAE Journal Newsletter addressed different aspects of the industry. Here is a look at the top five articles in ascending order, paired with peer-reviewed, technical content from ASHRAE Journal.

5. District Cooling Attracts New Attention 

By 2050, the amount of energy needed to cool homes and businesses is likely to double. District heating and cooling systems are on the rise as a solution that can reduce the energy use and emissions from standard air conditioners. One example is a Dutch system that uses water from the flooded shafts of a defunct mine. The setup consumes 65% less energy than a traditional system. Read more

An ASHRAE Journal article from February 2008 explores a similar approach—lake-source district cooling systems, which can result in large energy savings by eliminating or reducing the need for chiller-based cooling.

4. Using Waste Heat to Generate Power and Refrigerate 

It should be possible to generate electricity and refrigerate simultaneously using low-grade industry waste heat, according to research. A mechanical engineer has proposed a system to generate power and cool a system at the same time using the evaporation and condensation of an ammonia-water working fluid. Read more

An ASHRAE Journal article from April 2007 discusses using waste heat to power refrigerators.

3. Cool Bricks Use Evaporation for Cooling 

Scientists at the Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia (IAAC) in Spain are developing a passive cooling material, nicknamed “cool bricks,” that could help cool the air in buildings. The cool bricks follow the same evaporative cooling mechanism that happens when a person sweats. The material is a hydro gel similar to the moisture-absorbing crystals in a baby’s diaper, except that water in the new material evaporates, creating a cooling effect. Read more

A November 2016 ASHRAE Journal column examines how perspiration works as evaporative cooling to regulate temperature in the human body.

2. Calculating Feasibility of Geothermal Heating, Cooling 

Of the 850,000 lots in New York City, how many can feasibly use geothermal energy? The Geothermal Screening Webtool can tell. Based on a selected location, building size and installation costs, the tool determines the feasibility of installing geothermal heating and cooling, said Charles Copeland, P.E., Fellow/Life Member ASHRAE. The tool can be customized to be used in other locations. Read more

An ASHRAE Journal article from June 2017 discusses challenges and solutions used while renovating an office building in Buffalo, N.Y., with a geothermal system.

1. Adiabatic Cooling for a Data Center

SmartPower, a marketing firm that promotes clean energy and energy efficiency, investigated the use of a new innovative adiabatic cooling system for Ireland's Cork Internet Exchange. The system uses no chillers and relies simply on the ambient air for the cooling load. The energy savings are expected to be 75% of that used in a conventional chilled-water cooling system. Read more

In the January 2015 ASHRAE Journal, Don Beaty, P.E., Fellow ASHRAE, noted that adiabatic cooling also provides humidification and "air washing" benefits.