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Please find below the judging results for your proposal.

Finalist Evaluation

Judges'' ratings


Judges'' comments

You have included a wide variety of supporting evidence such as discussion of comfort versus relative humidity, and estimates of cost savings (although the exact methodology behind such is not clear) however there are some deficiencies in the proposal. For instance, will the proposed air conditioning systems be able to remove sufficient moisture to maintain building health? What do you mean by resetting "remote controls" for existing air conditioners? How would the settings be tamper-proof? Overall though, this proposal seems simple to convey and fairly impactful.

Semi-Finalist Evaluation

Judges'' ratings


Judges'' comments

Have you evaluated how long it would take to replace older units and the savings that would accrue over time as this occurs, or how this might drive users to keep older unrestricted devices in service e.g; as occurs with vintage cars and SMOG controls in some regions of the United States?

Did you give any consideration to user-bypass of the proposed thermostat governor?

What are the implications for humidity control, one of the primary functions of air conditioners?

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Eduardo Fracassi

Jun 13, 2016


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Thank you for considering our proposal and for posing valuable questions!

QUESTION 1) Have you evaluated how long it would take to replace older units and the savings that would accrue over time as this occurs, or how this might drive users to keep older unrestricted devices in service e.g; as occurs with vintage cars and SMOG controls in some regions of the United States?

These are issues of concern, we identified the following:


AC Lifecycle obsolescence induced natural replacement:

  • A study done by RSC corporation management (Farr, 2012) using system dynamics models concluded that the main variable affecting sales is the durability of air conditioners, which can be estimated in 15 to 20 years. Here is a graph with different total sales scenarios depending on the length of AC useful life:


    • So we can conclude that the time required to replace the majority of older equipments would be in the 15 to 20 years range. And because new ACs are more efficient using inverter technologies (Benefits of Inverter Air Conditioning, 2016), the rechange process might be accomplished in less time. AC Inverter efficiency is also augmented by our proposal.  

b) Policy mediated AC replacement:

  • Another data which can be useful to estimate the time needed to replace AC equipments might be inferred by studying the Montreal Treaty that phased out the use of dangerous ozone depleting gases in order to maintain ozone levels at sustainable levels that protect Earth’s ecosystems. “The refrigerator and air conditioning sectors have replaced CFCs with HCFCs which have in turn been replaced by non ozone-depleting HFCs such as ammonia and hydrocarbons. ”


    • The above graph by NOAA shows that CFCs emissions have been reduced by the Montreal Protocol in a lapse of approx. 15 to 20 years at most (NOAA, 2010).

    • Another example of a more cultural technological replacement is the case of the phaseout of 60-watt and 40-watt incandescent light bulbs that lasted 7 years: “Don't get it? You will on Jan. 1, 2014. That's when manufacturers will stop producing 60-watt and 40-watt incandescent light bulbs to comply with a mandate signed by a bipartisan Congress and President George W. Bush in 2007” (Agrell, Oct 11, 2013)

  • So we feel confident to say that in 15 to 20 years more than 90 % of the AC will have the new 25°C (77°F) optimum setting, perhaps earlier.



  • For old and existing air conditioners, we propose changing only the air conditioner remote controllers, the rest of the Air conditioner equipment remains as it is.

  • Governments trying to comply with COP22 INDCs might institute a resetting / replacement program, and the Public Relations awareness campaigns that we have planned.

  • Changing remote controllers should be something similar to replace TV remote controllers.

  • Each AC manufacturer should modify remote controllers with a new circuit board.

  • Perhaps this could be implemented as incandescent electric bulbs were replaced by more efficient halogen, compact fluorescent and LED lights in many countries. (Agrell, Oct 11, 2013)


  • New air conditioners should have both remote controllers and also the main cooling equipment redesigned with the 25°C (77°F) minimum temperature setting limitation.

  • This is important, because those equipments controlled through smartphones via Internet of Things might be easily set to a lower temperature using PCs, netbooks and / or even cell phone via ad hoc software applications. Attractive incentives might be considered to discourage such behavior, but ideally software applications should block this.


  • New remote and resetted AC remote controllers should show on their screens the amount energy consumed and the average savings produced by this proposal in terms of KWh, tCO2e and in USD.

  • Showing the amount of tCO2e, energy and USD on the remote controller's screen might help getting public awareness supporting this proposal, in a way teaching the general public to protect the environment. 


  • Keeping older remote controllers means higher electrical energy bills for those who keep them.


2) Did you give any consideration to user-bypass of the proposed thermostat governor?

  • It is very important to generate public awareness on the impact of AC temperature settings on global emissions and on energy and money savings.

  • As we said before, showing the amount of tCO2e, energy and USD on the remote controller's screen might help getting public awareness supporting this proposal.

  • Perhaps public awareness and support could be enhanced by alert messages like “think about the impact of all the money you have saved, the amount of emissions that you have avoided”.

  • All newspapers / transmedia should daily publish information about climate change metrics, like how much emissions, energy and energy cost were accrued per day.

  • Resetted controller circuits that replace old controllers should be redesigned in a way to be as tamper - proof as possible.

  • New equipments would be available only to work with a minimum 25°C (77°F) temperature setting, so in principle, no tampering would be possible on new equipment.

  • Energy distribution companies could control residential AC equipment settings through The Internet of Things IoT, so that the vast majority of users comply with the proposed regulation.

We also feel that this proposal is targeted to the majority of people who comply laws so that they benefit from this poka - yoke (ASQ, 2016) approach. Those who tamper with the AC minimum settings will pay on average 14% more in their electricity bills, might receive the same treatment as “black hat” hackers.


3) What are the implications for humidity control, one of the primary functions of air conditioners?

  • Air conditioners must produce comfort to users. Relative humidity is a key factor for comfortable AC experience.

    • “The reason people feel so uncomfortable when humidity levels rise is because our bodies cool off by perspiring. When your location is humid, the air has more moisture in it, making it more difficult for our sweat to evaporate.

    • With lower temperatures, the air grows less humid and more receptive to the evaporation of our perspiration. The result is that you feel more comfortable.”

    • Most modern AC systems are capable of regulating humidity. Your HVAC System has an evaporator coil that condenses water vapor from the air, in a process that you may have seen when condensation appears on the outside of a glass containing a cold beverage.

    • This process occurs when hot, moist air in your home comes in contact with the cold evaporator coil. The liquid is then condensed out of the air, making your home less humid. The moisture collected by the evaporator coil goes to a drain and then it is sent outside, away from your home or office building.” (David Grey Heating & Air, 2016)

  • This chart published by shows that at 25°C (77°F) people are in the comfort zone for all possible values of relative - humidity (Hoyt, T., Schiavon, S., Piccioli A., Moon D., and Steinfeld K., 2013).AC-CONFORT-ZONE.png

  • As you see in the chart, 25°C (77°F) is the maximum temperature setting in the comfort zone that covers all possible values of relative humidity.

  • We conclude that setting all AC equipments to the proposed 25°C (77°F) setting will be comfortable for the vast majority of the human race, and that, as we have calculated before will have an important impact on GHG emissions, producing important energy savings as well as saving much money.


We think that the novelty of this proposal is related to that its simplicity might generate great change, and that it is based on several paradigm shifting ideas, for example it is said that Henry Ford wrote in his autobiography, "Any customer can have a car painted any color that he wants so long as it is black". (Ford, H., Crowther, S., 1922)

As Ford showed with his successes, normalization can have a huge impact in a system, and more so if the system is set to an optimal point. So setting all residential air conditioners to an optimal temperature can have a profound impact on climate change reduction efforts.

In terms of air conditioners, the Henry Ford quote would be "you may set the temperature of your AC to any temperature as long as it is 25°C (77°F)", which is the optimal AC temperature setting.

As Donnella Meadows showed in her "Leverage Points: Places to Intervene in a System" paper (Meadows, D. , 1999) changing the system's goals is a very high impact intervention. We think that this is something new, using the optimal 25°C (77°F) has already been suggested, but setting 25°C (77°F) as a global AC temperature goal by COP22 and country governments is something new that might have a very important global impact. The reason is that many people do not understand the impact of changing only two or three degrees in the AC setting remote controls. Energy savings show great sensibility: just changing the temperature setting from 23 to 25 degrees °C amounts from 4% to 14% energy savings, that is changing your AC setting only two degrees multiplies by three your energy savings, as seen in the curve below that we calculated:


Part of the novelty of our proposal also comes from using the "Poka Yoke" approach to AC climate change related issues.

“Also called: poka-yoke, fail–safing. Mistake proofing, or its Japanese equivalent poka-yoke (pronounced PO-ka yo-KAY), is the use of any automatic device or method that either makes it impossible for an error to occur or makes the error immediately obvious once it has occurred.” (ASQ, 2016)

Setting all residential air conditioners in the world to an optimum 25°C (77°F) temperature follows the Poka Yoke philosophy, preventing the use of air conditioners in a suboptimal manner, thus protecting the environment, with the potential of saving 194 MtCO2e emissions, as well as 327 TWh, and approx. 29500 Million USD worldwide.

This huge impact is mostly not understood by the public, and we feel that a Public Relations campaign is needed to explain the benefits of a Poka Yoke with “inadvertent error prevention” approach to climate change issues.

We think that applying a normalization “alla Ford” or / Poka Yoke approach to air conditioners and in general to many key energy consumption issues is something new.


  1. Agrell, D (Oct 11, 2013). How to Replace Your Lightbulbs After the Incandescent Phase-Out. Popular Mechanics. Retrieved from:

  2. ASQ (2016),  Mistake Proofing. Retrieved from:

  3. Benefits of Inverter Air Conditioning (2016). Ecoair. Retrieved from:

  4. David Grey Heating & Air (2016). How Do Air Conditioners Remove Humidity? Retrieved from :

  5. Farr, W (2012). Using System Dynamics to Create Durable Business Strategy: US Air Conditioning Industry Case Study. Paper presented in the 2012 Conference of theSystem Dynamics Society.Retrieved from:

  6. Ford, H., Crowther, S. (1922). My Life and Work (1922) Chapter IV, p. 71. Doubleday, Page & Company, Garden City, New York.

  7. Hoyt, T., Schiavon, S., Piccioli A., Moon D., and Steinfeld K., (2013). CBE Thermal Comfort Tool. Center for the Built Environment, University of California Berkeley,

  8. Meadows, D. (1999). Leverage Points: Places to Intervene in a System. The Sustainability Institute, Retrieved from:

  9. U.S. Department of Commerce, National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration, NOAA Research (2010). Scientific Assessment of Ozone Depletion. Retrieved from:

Eduardo Fracassi

Jun 15, 2016


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Improvements to the original proposal:

We have added to our original proposal the answers to the questions made by the judges.

We have also added our thoughts about the novelty of our proposal, applying a similar strategy to the one used by Henry Ford for the automotive industry.

Finally here is a link to a video that shows some of these ideas!

We hope that you enjoy it!!!

The Kiri team.


Eduardo Fracassi

Jul 19, 2016


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Thank you so much for your feedback, it has made us meditate very much and enrich our ideas and our overall proposal. Here we share what we learnt trying to answer the comments / objections made by judges. The comments made by judges motivated us to contact more people and to add them to our team, with new ideas for  the next Climate Colab competition!


Question: 1) For instance, will the proposed air conditioning systems be able to remove sufficient moisture to maintain building health?


  • a) New regulation compliant ACs:  could could be run on "dry mode" in order to keep moisture between comfort levels as well as in order to maintain building health.


  • b) Existing ACs: we propose adding an Intermediate Intelligent Controller. The  Intermediate Intelligent controller has a temperature and a moisture sensor which in turn intelligently control the AC for better control of moisture excess.

intermediate intelligent controller 03.png


  • The idea of getting compliance to the proposed industry standard through the use of Intermediate Intelligent Controllers will be further developed and explained when answering the following questions made by judges.


Questions: 2) What do you mean by resetting "remote controls" for existing air conditioners? 3) How would the settings be tamper-proof?


We think that there is a great leverage point in how the ACs are controlled.


If we want people to adopt a system that works in an optimal point, we need to give people something new that really makes a difference to them so they will want to adopt it instead of tampering it.  In this way we discourage non compliance. Benefits are such that people end up adopting the new standard through the use of the Intermediate Intelligent Controller.


Intermediate Intelligent Controllers are something new that can be added to existing AC equipment and they will measure not only temperature but also room relative humidity.

Users will most likely adopt them because they save money and because they will be simpler to opearte, they will only have an on / off button. The Intermediate Intelligent Controller will manage the different modes in which an AC operates in order to keep people in the comfort zone of the psychometric chart. 

People benefit because ACs will be simpler to operate, they will only have to press the ON / OFF button to use the AC, the rest of the decisions will be taken by the Intermediate Intelligent Controller.


Controlling temperature vs. controlling comfort

Some existing AC equipment may work in many different modes: dry mode, cool mode, heat mode, automatic mode, sleep mode, ventilation, and quick cool mode.


We think that many many people don't even know that ACs can work with so many different modes.


And people do not differentiate small changes in room temperature. What people do know is whether they are comfortable or not, therefore we aim to replace the traditional temperature control paradigm with a consolidated new one: comfort. In the AC world, this includes managing temperature and relative humidity inside the comfort zone, which might even change with altitude / atmospheric pressure.


Comfort is determined mostly by relative humidity and temperature, so we must measure both in order to assure a comfortable experience.


How can we regulate comfort and have people voluntarily comply with the new standard?

  1. Develop an Intermediate Intelligent Controller:

We propose developing an intermediate intelligent controller that will be placed either on the existing air conditioners or close to the place where people are.


This intermediate intelligent controller will have a temperature and relative humidity electronic sensor, as well as wifi and an infrared emitter.


This information will be used by the controller to determine which is the best way to operate the AC in order to maintain temperature and relative humidity inside the comfort zone, for a best user comfort experience.


For example, if the temperature is 28C and the relative humidity high, the AC intermediate intelligent controller  will run the AC in “cool mode” till it reaches 25C  and then, if necessary it will operate in “dry mode” till it reaches an comfortable relative humidity value. This kind of AC operation mode changes from cool mode to dry mode might be very seldom made by users out of laziness or because they do not know how to operate the AC.


The intermediate intelligent controller will help users, because it will automatically  choose the best operation mode given the temperature and relative humidity of the room.  


The intermediate controller will communicate with wifi capable devices such as cell phones, laptops, tablets or PCs through wifi.


The intermediate controller will control the AC using an infrared emitter.


b) Develop a web application that runs on cellphones, tablets and PCs.

This application will run on cell phones, tablets and or PCs, and will only give the order to start or stop de AC. The application will also store valuable temperature, humidity and AC operation data for benefits of users, government and electrical supply utilities.


Which are the benefits of this intermediate intelligent controller?

1) people will stop thinking about temperature, instead they will begin thinking about whether they are comfortable and about how much money and GHGs they save.


2) Saving money and feeling comfortable will help people massively adopt the new industry 25C (77F) regulation.


3) If people save money and feel comfortable, the incentive to cheat and tamper with the temperature setting of the AC will greatly diminish. Why would people cheat when they are offered a more cheap and equally comfortable alternative? We think that people most likely would forget about degrees and start thinking about comfort and about saving money.


Which are the benefits of developing a web application that runs on cell phones, tablets and PCs and that communicates via wifi with the Intermediate Intelligent Controller?


An application running on a cell phone, table, PC might benefit users with information on:

  1. Energy savings, GHG emission savings, money saved.

  2. Recommendations based historical data for better use and maintenance of the AC.

  3. Awards to foster compliance of the new regulation.


  • The application might also benefit the government and electric utilities with valuable information on how to

  1. Better manage energy demand with data about AC use,

  2. Establishing awards to users based on AC use

  3. Fostering compliance through social networks.

estimates of cost savings (although the exact methodology behind such is not clear)?


Derivation of the formula with which the cost savings were calculated.

The formula was calculated in 2014 by the Bijli Bachao team (Bijli Bachao, 2016)


This explanation was sent by Abhishek Jain

Founder, Bijli Bachao & Science ABC


The formula has several assumptions built in, but the basic premise is the formula for heat transfer. This was put in to give a high level idea of the savings. If we look at any kind of heat transfer formula, it depends on difference in temperature




Heat in the room will be directly proportional to the temperature difference.


Now if we assume two different temperatures to which the room has to be cooled down to:


tc1.jpg and  tc2.jpg


Then the heat to be extracted from the room becomes:






So % difference between the two amounts of heat to be extracted is:




Now there are two kinds of heat that the AC has to extract: 1) Which is already there in the room (when the AC is started) 2) Heat coming in through the walls.


Imagine that the outside temperature is 45 degrees. And we want to keep it at 25 and 20.


So in 1st case (i.e. Heat already there in the room), the biggest missing piece is the inside room temperature, which depends on thermal conductivity of the walls. Which is where our first assumption comes in, which is: “Let’s assume that the initial room temperature is same as that which is outside”. Which means t3.jpgin our formula above becomes 45 and t4.jpgbecomes 25 and t5.jpg becomes 20.


2nd case comes in when the room temperature has been reduced to the desired temperature (t6.jpg or t7.jpg). Again the assumption is that the room temperature is uniformly adjusted to the desired temperature. Now whatever be the thermal conductivity, the rate of flow of heat inside the room will be directly proportional to the difference of outside temperature and inside temperature.


So with all these assumptions the % difference in amount of heat to be extracted comes out to be:




Now the amount of effort to be done by AC is directly proportional to amount of heat in the room. And thus the % difference in amount of effort done by AC will be directly proportional to % difference in the amount of heat. And thus the formula.


A few other assumptions in the formula are:


1) No Human presence: Heat is released from human body metabolism and thus the amount of heat will vary with number of humans present in the room. It is difficult to estimate how many people will be present in the room. Thus hard to build that in the formula.


2) No appliances running: Again appliances will release heat which will be independent on outside temperature. Again difficult to guess how many appliances will be there in the room.


However, unless the number of humans and appliances in the room is not huge, the numbers are mostly quite small as compared to the heat coming from outside.


The whole thing can be quite complicated and extremely hard to define precisely. This formula was built just so that a few things can be simplified for people who visit our website. Many of them ask questions on how much can they save by changing temperature on the thermostat. Hard to give a precise answer (as it depends on individuals setup and use), but this was put in to give some logical response.


I hope this helps.




Abhishek Jain

Founder, Bijli Bachao & Science ABC