AMS Spring 2023

“World’s Most Efficient” A/C System to Be Built with 3D Printing

Inkbit

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Hyperganic, a German developer of AI-based engineering software, has announced a new project aiming to create the world’s most efficient residential A/C system. The company is partnering with Strata Manufacturing, an advanced manufacturing firm specializing in aviation and based in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), as well as EOS, the German additive manufacturing (AM) pioneer.

The partnership also announced its symbolically significant intentions to release the first project updates at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change COP28, being held in the UAE in November, 2023. The general business plan is to utilize Hyperganic’s Algorithmic Engineering software to design products manufactured on EOS’ metal printers, with the production process to be managed by Strata’s digital platform. Hyperganic announced that, in July, the company will be opening an engineering office in Dubai devoted to the project. It expects the office to be headquarters to a team of twenty engineers by the end of 2022, who will work with Strata and EOS directly.

EOS rocket engine designed by Hyperganic software. Image courtesy of EOS

In the press release, the UAE’s Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology, HE Dr. Sultan Al Jaber, said, “In line with the directives of our leadership to support and develop the national industrial sector, the Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology [MoIAT] aims to develop a national industrial ecosystem able to create the kind of partnerships that develop and manufacture innovative local products.” Strata’s CEO, Ismail Ali Abdulla, added, “Here, I must commend MoIAT’s role, which crafted a conducive environment for investments and building partnerships, especially through the Make in the Emirates campaign; an open invitation for investors, manufacturers and innovators to invest in the UAE’s industrial sector.”

By using 3D printing as well as AI-based engineering and digital supply chains, the team says it hopes to create 3D printed heat exchangers. By integrating a turbine into the refrigerant flow, these optimized parts generate gains from energy recuperation, as well as improved airflow and electric motor energy use. This should result in A/C units that are ten times more efficient, with an up to 180% improvement on the refrigerant cycle and a 200% reduction in the heat exchanger energy consumption.

The companies involved are clearly trying to put sustainability at the center of the partnership’s agenda, which may at first sound somewhat paradoxical, given that it’s a partnership formed for the purpose of producing air conditioners. On the other hand, as the trio notes in the press release, A/C is already responsible for 20% of global energy consumption, and the International Energy Agency (IEA) projects energy demand for A/C will triple by 2050.

Image courtesy of Strata

To draw an analogy, then, as optimistic as it may also seem, to think that gas-powered cars can truly be “phased out” by 2040 or some similar target number, it at least seems realistic enough to be worth shooting for. Concerning A/C, however, comparable replacement products such as electric vehicles don’t exist, and it’s decidedly unrealistic to think humanity could phase the technology out.

The best that can be hoped for is to slow down the long-term energy demand for air conditioning. This is why the particular problem will need to be treated differently from region to region, and addressed by combinations of many different solutions like the one announced by Hyperganic and its partners.

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