Us Air Conditioning City Of Industry California – In his preface to “After Refrigeration,” Eric Dean Wilson tells us that he began his research without knowing a “propane fron tank.” It’s a subtle chemistry joke, but a good one. However, by the end of the first 20 pages, the reader will have no doubt that the author knows all there is to know about what we call air conditioning. Following his brilliantly persuasive argument that reducing machine-made coolant is the most important environmental task of our generation, Wilson walks us through the science of chemical refrigerants, detailing both the chemistry and physics of these molecules. From the havoc they wreak in the thin protective layers of Earth’s atmosphere.
Woven into Wilson’s story about the first modern refrigerant (Freon, a compound of the chlorofluorocarbon, or CFC, family, developed in the 1930s) is an interesting illustration of how our best efforts at environmental regulation can bring out the worst in us.
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In a desperate attempt to save our ozone layer, the Montreal Protocol effectively ended CFC production in 1987, forcing the temperature control industry to switch to less potent fluorocarbon compounds. Since then, between
How Air Conditioning Conquered America (even The Pacific Northwest)
CFCs are banned, their use is not banned. This has created a strong underground market for pre-stored Freon, serving small farmers and mechanics who don’t have the resources to retrofit the cooling systems on their tractors or long trucks. Even small companies staffed by secret groups have sprung up to buy these CFCs to play in the California carbon market. Wilson’s description of his cross-country road trip to meet and talk to Freon buyers and sellers beautifully illustrates the tragic premise of the book, and I completely agree.
For example, John Gorey’s first air conditioning design of 1851 was intended to provide better air circulation in cramped quarters and crowded classrooms, but it didn’t work that way. The first complete cooling system was not in operation downtown, but was used to benefit the market: the first workers to get air conditioning were the floor traders of the New York Stock Exchange in 1902. Admittedly, for most of the year, the temperature in our offices, homes, cars, shopping malls and theaters is surprisingly colder than the outside temperature.
Our ability to dramatically cool the spaces we inhabit has changed the way we travel, eat food, use medicine, design our architecture, and more. But eventually, these cooling chemicals inevitably leak from coils and holding tanks as machines age and are scrapped. Once released, they form persistent greenhouse gases, which means that refrigeration as a practice contributes greatly to global warming. As a supreme irony, one Wilson notes, our world before the adoption of institutional air conditioning
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Wilson’s research for “After Cool” was ambitious. “I wanted to be more intimate with climate violence,” he writes in his preface, and proceeds to address several points of contention. It describes how the history of the cooling of personal and professional spaces is intertwined with the history of racism and the institution of slavery. Before the invention of mechanical refrigeration, slave children living in temperate climates were forced to ventilate their captors for long hours or pass air through bowls of water in an attempt to cool entire halls and palaces. “One life was comforted at the expense of another,” Wilson writes with powerful simplicity. Today, he explains, the global socioeconomic gap between those who can effectively cool their environment and those who cannot is widening rapidly.
One topic Wilson doesn’t address, and wishes he did: how changes in the Western diet have (or haven’t) affected our perceived need for and use of air conditioning. Admittedly, the measurable increase in average personal solitude over the last 50 years is a thorny question, but it’s certainly relevant to any discussion of how our personal space is changing.
“After Cooling” has its greatest impact when it asks us to think deeply about why people want to change the temperature of their surroundings. Once upon a time, the occasional sweat was simply accepted as a way of life, says Wilson, but now we consider comfort a prerequisite for work and play. But what does being comfortable really mean? Is it just the lack of discomfort or is it something else? Is it a physical experience or an emotional state? By addressing broad themes of culture and philosophy, an unusual and delightful feature of a book about climate change, Wilson invites the reader into deep existential discussions. Wilson’s investigation of the marketing push behind the phrase “air conditioning” as opposed to “air cooling” or something more concrete is particularly fascinating. Clearly, isn’t producing better “conditions” of air, producing better “conditions” of life, the very definition of progress?
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My main issue with “After Cooling” is that the book sometimes seems apologetic about its existence. Wilson notes that racism, misogyny and poverty have only recently become more strongly recognized and addressed in the media on a large and small scale, and contrasts this with how his friends and colleagues simply “hope it goes away”. “Every time he mentions climate change. He claims that discussions of refrigeration management are less “powerful” and “weirdly impersonal” compared to climate tactics involving electric vehicles or bioplastics. In response, information in “After Refrigeration” And I submit that the quality of the narrative contradicts the author on these very points.
Wilson dares to make it clear that lasting climate solutions are not about new technology or better products, but about our ability to redefine what makes our lives meaningful. The first steps as a baby can be as simple as experimenting with an air conditioner on a hot July day, turning the room a few degrees higher than normal, and asking if we noticed at bedtime. It is the great dilemma of the climate. Change: We’re so comfortable with air conditioning that global energy consumption for it has already tripled since 1990. It’s growing even faster by mid-century, assuming fossil-fueled power plants provide electricity, which could account for that. Emissions of enough carbon dioxide to warm the Earth by another half a deadly degree Celsius.
Suggests a partial remedy: Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (or HVAC) systems move a lot of air. An office building can replace the entire volume of air 5 to 10 times per hour. Machines that capture carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, an emerging solution to climate change, also rely on the movement of large volumes of air. So why not save energy by putting a carbon capture device in the air conditioner?
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This futuristic proposal by a team led by chemical engineer Roland Dittmeyer at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology in Germany goes even further. The researchers envision a system of modular components powered by renewable energy that doesn’t just pull carbon dioxide and water out of the air. It converts them into hydrogen and then uses a multi-step chemical process to convert that hydrogen into liquid hydrocarbon fuel. The result: “customized, localized and distributed artificial oil wells” in buildings or neighborhoods, the authors write. “The envisioned ‘crowd oil’ model of solar refineries, similar to the ‘crown electricity’ of solar panels, would allow people to “control and collectively manage global warming and climate change” without relying on fossil fuel industrial giants. Energy. “
The research team has already developed an experimental model that can complete several key steps in the process, says Dittmeyer: “In two to three years, the plan is to have the first experimental demonstration where you can show a bottle of carbon dioxide hydrocarbons. Fuel.” Carbon Captured in an Air Conditioning Unit.
Neither Dittmeyer, a chemical engineer at the University of Toronto, nor co-author Geoffrey Ozin would predict how long it would take building owners to purchase and install such units. But Osin says much of the technology needed is already commercially available. Carbon capture equipment can come from Climeworks, a Swiss “direct gas capture” company, and electrolytes to convert carbon dioxide and water into hydrogen can be obtained from Siemens, Hydrogenics or other companies, he says. “You use Roland’s amazing microstructure catalytic reactors that convert hydrogen and carbon dioxide into a synthetic fuel,” he adds. Those reactors are being brought to market by the German company Ineratec, a spin-off of Dittmeyer’s research. Because the system relies on advanced forms of solar energy, Ozin calls the result “photosynthetic buildings.”
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The authors calculate that applying this system to the HVAC of the MesseTurm or Trade Fair Tower in Frankfurt, one of Europe’s tallest skyscrapers, could extract and convert enough carbon dioxide to produce at least 2
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