A Wind-some Tale!
Long before the advent of the electrically generated air conditioner...the bedouin were already one step ahead!
They had wind towers.
Usually positioned on one corner of a house, they were made of stone, mud brick or gypsum plaster, and stood around three to five metres above the roof, with vents facing in the direction of the sea, to catch the cooler breezes.
Just like an open window, the tower would catch the air, which would then filter down into the living area below, creating cool air streams.
They came into use sometime after 1850 and often the towers were wrapped in wet fabric, to increase their cooling power. They worked well in the coastal areas and not so well in some low lying areas where there would be little, if any, air movement - and therefore little wind for the towers to "catch."
In this harsh environment, the modern airconditioning methods used in buildings already accounts for 70% of the UAE's energy uses.
Now a researcher is trying to apply this ancient formula as a 21st century form of 'environmentally friendly air conditioning.'
Dr Ben Hughes detects a pioneering opportunity and hopes to devise a wind tower system that would use the Gulf's year-round winds as renewable energy.
Unlike the tall thin towers of old, the new system would be a one metre squared box, with a hole down the middle and it would only require very minimal winds - around three metres per second, typical of UAE wind speeds on an average day.
Wind would enter the tower, and then pass through a fluid-filled cooling pipe that functions much like a refrigerator, but unlike the refrigerator, would use environmentally friendly coolants.
Once cooled, the air would then pass down to the home through a filter that would also remove any sand or other pollution. The result would be a system that is not only environmentally friendly, but definitely healthier than today's air conditioners.
"While the system itself sounds simple, the Gulf's sand and heat make it an engineering challenge, said Dr Hughes."
A prototype is due to be finished by the middle of next year,
Nothing left to say but...........Cooooool!!
These were opposite a house where I went to do some tutoring today...hence the blip!
Happy Blipping Everyone
- Fujifilm FinePix HS20EXR