Airconditioning

In countries where the temperature gets above 30 °C, air-conditioning is viewed as a necessity, and the energy cost of delivering that temperature control can be large. However, this part of the book is about British energy consumption, and Britain's temperatures provide little need for air-conditioning (figure 7.8).

Figure 7.8. Cambridge temperature in degrees Celsius, daily (red line), and half-hourly (blue line) during 2006.

An economical way to get air-conditioning is an air-source heat pump. A window-mounted electric air-conditioning unit for a single room uses 0.6 kW of electricity and (by heat-exchanger) delivers 2.6 kW of cooling. To estimate how much energy someone might use in the UK, I assumed they might switch such an air-conditioning unit on for about 12 hours per day on 30 days of the year. On the days when it's on, the air-conditioner uses 7.2 kWh. The average consumption over the whole year is 0.6 kWh/d.

This chapter's estimate of the energy cost of cooling - 1 kWh/d per person - includes this air-conditioning and a domestic refrigerator. Society

Cooling: 1 kWh/d

Figure 7.9. Cooling total - including a refrigerator (fridge/freezer) and a little summer air-conditioning -1 kWh/d.

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Figure 7.10. My domestic cumulative gas consumption, in kWh, each year from 1993 to 2005. The number at the top of each year's line is the average rate of energy consumption, in kWh per day. To find out what happened in 2007, keep reading!

99 2000 01

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also refrigerates food on its way from field to shopping basket. I'll estimate the power cost of the food-chain later, in Chapter 15.

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