Sun doing the cooling?

Sustainability Problem: Energy + Safety and Health

Air conditioners produce about 117 million metric tons of CO2 annually and make up about 6% of all electricity produced in the US. To homeowners, this accounts to a total cost of $29 billion. 

Cooling is important for the safety and health of people, especially when people are working in hot conditions for a long duration. Extreme heat, especially longer exposure to extreme heat can cause heat exhaustion, heat strokes and death. More than 600 people in the US die from extreme heat each year. 

Sustainability Technology: FedEx Ground’s Solar Thermal Air Conditioning System

  • At Fedex Ground’s sorting facility in Davenport, Florida, the solar thermal air conditioning system provides cooling for packages that are not usually insulated as well as for workers who have to load and sort packages for prolonged periods of time in the heat.
  • This technology provides thermal comfort for workers and also cuts down the work air conditioner compressors have to do to provide cooling.
  • Solar thermal panels mounted on the roof of the distribution center take the sunlight and convert it to heat which is used to heat the compressed fluid inside the air conditioners.
  • This solar thermal technology will reduce energy demand by 33% and reduce 11.4 metric tons of CO2 per year.
  • For more information, please see https://www.csrwire.com/press_releases/723131-cooled-sun

Stakeholders:

  • Fedex Upper Management
  • Facilities Management Team
  • Fedex employees

First 3 steps in deploying this technology (at another building):

  • Perform an energy audit
  • Assess condition of the roof to check for the viability of a solar thermal panel
  • Check existing air conditioners and test the technology

Sources:

https://www.niehs.nih.gov/research/programs/geh/climatechange/health_impacts/heat/index.cfm#:~:text=Prolonged%20exposure%20to%20extreme%20heat,%2C%20cerebral%2C%20and%20cardiovascular%20diseases.

https://www.cdc.gov/disasters/extremeheat/index.html

Uni: rm3851

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