Conservation is King: Energy-Saving HVAC Solution De-“Mist”ified

greenway unitHere in North America, energy use represents approximately 30% of operating costs for commercial buildings, and HVAC comprises 30-80% of that energy cost.  It’s not rocket science to recognize that implementing simple, energy efficient measures can dramatically reduce consumption; accordingly, business owners and commercial property managers are actively seeking ways to leverage these efficiencies without the costs and complications associated with complex burden of major structural improvements.

Therein lies the genius of the Cool-n-Save® “pre-cool” solution, the brain-child of Greenway Design Group, Inc. (GDG), which has been proven to reduce the cost of operating conventional air conditioning systems by as much as 30%.  Based in Huntington Beach, CA, GDG has been an innovator of commercial and residential solutions for HVAC systems that conserve energy and equipment since 2005, most notably in developing energy-saving evaporative pre-cool misting technology.

Simply stated, Cool-N-Save® applies the known benefits of evaporative pre-cooling to increase energy efficiency of central air conditioning systems. This effect comes into play when ambient temperature exceeds 85°F.  At this temperature, AC units are not very energy efficient because the hot air cooks the outdoor condensing coils. The higher the ambient air temp, the harder AC systems must work to keep up to cool the inside of the building.   The Cool-n- Save® pre-cool system sprays a treated water mist into the air around the HVAC unit. Flash evaporation causes the mist to evaporate almost instantly, creating a shield or “adiabatic boundary” which insulates the HVAC from excess heat.

Two university studies demonstrated that these evaporative “pre-cool” misting systems produce a significant increase in energy efficiency of air conditioning systems, concluding that, “Even in a climate that endures high humidity, the heat transfer from the refrigerant to the air is substantially increased.  This effect implies that cooler air will be able to circulate throughout a structure and that this will decrease the time the condenser unit runs, thus reducing electricity cost to the user.”

The science is straightforward yet conclusive; their innovative technologies earned GDG distinction as the winner of the 18th annual TechAmerica/ Harvey Mudd College Green Tech innovation award.  And unlike many energy retrofits or other large structural improvements, return on investment with the Cool-n-Save® “pre-cool” solution is measured in months, not years.

One distinctive aspect of GDG’s business model is its emphasis on conservation.   According to Ray Wyman, Jr., Director, Marketing Communications for GDG, “Conservation is something we can all agree on; there’s a quick ROI without a large investment.  It is the purest form of environmentalism:  if we reduce consumption and conserve, not only do we lower costs, but we don’t have to build more energy generation.”  While supportive of energy innovation, particularly in the alternative energy space, Wyman suggests that “the government should focus on greater investment in conservation to provide more bang for the buck.”

Despite the momentum in LEED-certified building and increased awareness of the cost efficiencies in green buildings, the economic climate has prevented many commercial property investors from moving forward with large-scale initiatives.  GDG’s Cool-n-Save® “pre-cool” solution is a turnkey way to make a significant impact on energy cost reduction without the start-up costs, permit and regulatory requirements, permitting delays and other constraints commonly associated new infrastructure, existing building renovations, and adaptive re-use projects.