Incredible Refrigeration Technology Can Turn Excess Heat Into Cold

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[credit provider=”Flickr / Jan Tik ” url=””]

The World Wildlife Fund, or WWF, announced the four winning technologies of its first annual Climate Solver China Awards today.   The innovations are designed to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, but they must also fill a real market need so that enough people would purchase the product to have a measurable impact.  

One of the winning technologies is a refrigeration system that uses waste heat, instead of electricity, to power the cooling system of appliances like air conditioners, ice makers, and freezers. Waste heat is just what it sounds like. It’s energy produced from the use of energy — like from diesel engine exhaust, generators, or industrial steam — that would otherwise go to waste if no other application was found.  

The invention, called the Thermal-Chemical Absorption Refrigeration System, comes from Wuhan Yunhe Dingyu Refrigeration Science & Technology Co., Ltd and is already found in the air conditioners, ice makers, and freezers of some fishing boats — using heat from the motor to cool things down. 

Refrigeration eats up lots of electricity and produces a large amount of carbon emissions as a result. It also uses dangerous and toxic chemicals. Yunhe’s energy-efficient technology would cut CO2 emissions by 15.33 million tons by the year 2022 “if distributed to 50 per cent of the Chinese market for refrigeration powered by marine diesel and vehicle engine exhaust gas alone,” the WWF writes in a statement.

Sounds cool. Literally.