UK Engineering superstar Sir Richard Branson is set to give $3 million to whoever can reinvent the air conditioner.
The ‘Global Cooling Prize’ is a campaign to search for the a new sustainable design for the air conditioner.
Air Conditioner in a major contributor to global energy use. As people earn more money one of the most common first purchases they make is an air conditioning unit.
As global temperatures slowly rise and more people earning higher incomes the number of AC units could balloon to a whopping 4.5 billion units by 2050.
These ‘future’ AC units are set to generate thousands of tons of carbon emissions (around 100 gigatons of carbon emissions by 2050!). By reinventing air conditioners to have a more sustainable design Engineers could make a real difference in reducing future carbon emissions.
If a carbon neutral solution could be found to air conditioning then engineers would be able to mitigate up to 0.5º C of global warming by 2100.
The campaign is backed by a number of firms as well as the Indian government. India is on track to buy a staggering 1 billion air-conditioners over the next two decades.
The air conditioning market is currently dominated by a handful of multi-billion dollar corporations. The campaign is designed to kick-start a revolution in air conditioning design and allow smaller startups to get their foot in the door.
You can apply for the prize online at globalcoolingprize.org