Use of Stored Snow for Summer Cooling Loads
Climate change is one of the greatest challenges of the 21st century. One of its effects will be hotter summers and therefore an increased demand for indoor cooling systems. Unfortunately, these cooling systems can exacerbate climate change in two ways. The first is that these systems require a large amount of electricity to generate the cooling load; this electricity is currently made from fossil fuel burning power plants. The second, is they require potent greenhouse gases, in the form of refrigerants, to circulate within the system; these gases are often released into the atmosphere at the end of the system’s life. Alternative systems that are less energy intensive and make use of cleaner resources can help alleviate these issues. This research explores how stored snow can be used as a cooling source for buildings. A feasibility study was conducted for Edmonton to assess the viability of these snow cooling systems in Canada. Snowfall and weather statistics were gathered to find whether Edmonton has enough snow and the right weather conditions for the implementation of these cooling systems. One of the important findings was how previous research on the preservation of snow in alpine ski resorts could be applied to these systems, resulting in more efficient snow storage management. The implication from this research is that these cooling systems could reduce carbon emissions, and alleviate the challenges of climate change.
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Jeff Davis
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