One of the biggest challenges in the energy sector in Saudi Arabia is the high consumption resulting from the loads of air conditioners due to the hot weather in most areas most of the year. In the summer, temperatures in some areas may reach 50 degrees Celsius, with electricity bills rising dramatically. In residential facilities in particular, air conditioning may represent more than two thirds of the value of the electricity bill. Currently, with the increase in the value of electricity tariffs, these factors represent a financial burden, especially on residential facilities.
Warm weather is a major reason for the increased consumption of electricity from air conditioners. They raise the demand for cooling due to the significant leakage of heat from the outside through the walls, making air conditioners work longer. On the other hand, the rise of external heat negatively affects the efficiency of air conditioners, which weakens their ability to cool in the summer. All of these factors negatively affect the consumer, forcing him/her to use larger and higher-cost air conditioners, as well as increased electricity consumption and higher bills.
Reducing the consumption of electricity from air conditioners is a key objective to reduce costs for households or establishments and is in line with the vision of the Kingdom 2030. Many programs have been launched to rationalize consumption in air conditioning, whether through awareness campaigns, improving the efficiency of air conditioners or improving thermal insulation.
The Evaporative cooling project for air conditioners is one of the projects being developed by the Sustainable Business Innovations Company in cooperation with the Islamic University of Madinah and aims to improve the performance of air conditioning units especially during the summer. The project is the development of a device installed on the external units of the current air conditioners. The device evaporates a small amount of water, as the evaporated water absorbs heat from the outside air and cooled before entering the external unit. This phenomenon is similar to the feeling of cold when the water evaporates from the surface of the skin. Cooling the air inside the external unit improves efficiency, increases cooling capacity, and reduces electricity consumption.
The device is designed in various shapes and sizes to suit different designs for air conditioners, whether of a separate type (internal unit and external unit) or the type of nets. Also designed to be easy to maintain and clean, cleaning it is similar to cleaning air filters. Especially in hot weather, the device can raise efficiency and reduce the consumption of air conditioners by 20% to more than 35% depending on the humidity. In hot and dry climates, such as in Riyadh and Madinah in the spring season, the evaporative cooling system can significantly improve the efficiency of air conditioning. In addition to reducing electricity consumption, evaporative cooling improves cooling capacity of the air conditioner. Consumers do not have to use large, high-volume air conditioners, which reduces installation costs when buying new air conditioners. All these factors make evaporative cooling technology a promising technology for application in the Saudi market to improve air conditioning efficiency.