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This simple, impactful and viable idea helps to increase the efficiency of air conditioners by reducing the volume that needs to be cooled.




Large spaces like malls, atriums and airports are one of the major structures where air conditioners are used. Furthermore, unlike in our homes, the air conditioners here are switched on always. One day, while I was in a mall, it struck me that there was a HUGE volume above my head that was getting unnecessarily cooled. This volume, i.e. the volume from my head to the roof of the structure was causing a huge burden on the HVAC (Heating, ventilating Air Conditioner) system that was ultimately leading to excess energy consumption and therefore more pollution.


Concentrate the cool air only up to the level at which is required (approx. 7-8 feet). Taking into consideration the real world constraints, I aimed to contain the air within at least half of the volume. If this can be accomplished, the overall energy consumption of the HVAC system of the structure can be reduced by more than 50%.


The implementation solution uses the concept of attraction between opposite charges. In a nut shell, if we can slightly charge the cool/hot air (negatively) and the floor (positively), there would be a substantial force of attraction between the two that would cause the desired air to settle down at the bottom of the structure. 

Devices to negatively charge air are already available and are being marketed as "air ionizers". The intended purpose of these devices is to purify the air. However, they can also serve to implement my idea with the side benefit of air purification. 

The floor can be charged by laying down a metal sheet below the tiles/carpet and attaching it to a positive Van De Graff Generator. This is a device that can be used to generate a controlled amount of potential difference. 

The charge will remain intact since both the negative and positive systems are isolated (metal sheet can be insulated and air is a natural insulator. 

This idea, if implemented can save more than 50% of the energy used by HVAC systems in large structures. 

What actions do you propose?

This idea has not yet been implemented. It needs a set of bold, courageous and intelligent people for it to become a reality. This is where I feel the alumni of MIT can come in. 

The alumni of MIT are a set of dedicated, intellectual , succesful and daring people. They are known for their research both within and outside college and this is the very reason I feel they are suitable for the job.

This idea needs a dedicated research fund and team for it to move forward. I truly believe in energy saving and I feel that the MIT community can help my idea move forward. 

This idea is novel because it focusses on a completely new, never before explored area of air conditioner efficiency. It is the equivalent of reducing the distace covered by a car rather than increasing the engine efficiency (both will finally result in lesser fuel consumption). Instead of focussing on how to make the actual air conditioner better, I have invented a design that effectively makes the structure that needs to be cooled smaller. 

The impact this idea could have is huge. I'm talking about taking all the malls and atriums and similar structures in the world and reducing their HVAC power consumption by 50% ! I feel this is a truly innovative and more importantly implentable idea that deserves the recognition of the MIT alumni.