The Ultimate Off-Peak Cooling Systems Quiz

By: Staff

4 Min Quiz

Image: refer to hsw

About This Quiz

Off-peak air conditioning systems will soon be coming to a home near you. Off-peak systems have been saving companies a lot of money for years by reducing energy costs and have proven their effectiveness. Leading air conditioning companies are producing residential units that can be added to your existing system. Take our quiz now to see if you are ready to cool off with off-peak air conditioning.

Who invented the air conditioner?

The first air conditioner was invented by a man named Willis Carrier in 1902. He invented it to reduce heat and humidity causing smudged pages at a printing plant.


What year was the first residential air conditioner introduced?

The first home air conditioner was introduced in 1928. The unit was called the Weathermaker.


What is one of the best ways that a company can save money on their air conditioning costs?

One of the best ways to save on air conditioning costs is to switch over to an off-peak cooling system. Off-peak systems take advantage of the cheaper utility rates offered during non-peak hours.


How does off-peak air conditioning help utilities enough for them to create attractive rates to offer during off-peak hours?

In spite of lower rates attached to off-peak electricity, utilities still make money because they can reduce use of more expensive peak electricity and defer capital costs associated with increasing capacity. There is an excess of power available late at night because almost everyone is in bed.


What characteristic of conventional air conditioners helps to encourage switching to off-peak systems?

Conventional air conditioners use energy less efficiently as the day becomes hotter. When air conditioners work extra hard there is less time for a full cycle to take place at maximum efficiency.


What do utilities have to do in order to provide enough electricity during peak demand periods?

Utilities are forced to buy expensive power off the grid in order to cover peak demand. Even worse is that some utilities activate older generating facilities during the day to cover extra demand even though these plants generate more pollution.


How can distributing energy usage over the entire day help utilities and our environment?

Moving automated tasks like laundry, dishwashers and air conditioning to off-peak hours reduces the need for more generating facilities. Fewer generating facilities using fossil fuels equals a better environment.


What is different with off-peak systems that allow them to save daytime air conditioning costs?

Off-peak systems freeze water in special insulated tanks at night. A refrigerant such as ethylene or propylene glycol mixed with water, which is chilled to well below freezing.


What is the term used to describe the water-freezing mode used by off-peak systems at night?

Once the water is frozen, the system uses very little energy to maintain the water in a frozen state until it is required during daytime cooling hours.


What is another common name used for off-peak cooling systems?

Off-peak cooling systems are also referred to as thermal energy storage (TES) systems. Until recently TES systems were only available for large institutions but newer technology has allowed smaller systems with high operating efficiency.


Where do companies place the large tanks of water and ice that are required for off-peak systems?

Nowadays tanks can be designed to be located almost anywhere. Some companies even bury the tanks underground, which provides further insulation from daytime heat.


What factor do off-peak systems depend on to make them economically viable?

Off-peak air conditioning systems take advantage of the electric utilities pricing structure to make them a viable alternative. With the cost of bringing more energy generation on line, this pricing structure is unlikely to change in the foreseeable future.


What is the measurement unit used to determine the size of an air conditioning system?

Air conditioning volume is sized in tons. It takes one ton to cool 12,000 BTUs in an hour or one ton to cool about 500 square feet of space in an hour.


How much peak energy can a typical off-peak system save if it is incorporated into an existing air conditioning system in a large residential application?

According to Ice Energy, their Ice Bear 50 system can save up to 95 percent off your peak energy demand when integrated with your existing system. The down side in the economics is the $4,000 to $18,000 price tag for an Ice Bear system.


What percent reduction in peak cooling demand was achieved by the Night Sky Project?

The Night Sky Project developed a roof-mounted system using water that was spray-cooled by the night air and stored in a tank for peak period cooling. Analysis of five test systems resulted in a 50 to 90 percent reduction in peak cooling demand.


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