According to the report, the use of space coolers increases in cities around the world during the summer season. Most of these are used in AC, even in split AC. It is estimated that the electricity consumed in the summer is about one-tenth of the electricity supply in the world. If this trend continues, the energy demand for space coolers will triple by 2050. The increase in energy consumption and the variety of space coolers will also increase the risk to the environment.
Split-air conditioners (Split ACs) that use a single indoor and outdoor air unit connected by pipes are the most common equipment used for space-cooling. They mostly use HCFC-22 and HFC-410 as refrigerants. Both refrigerants have high global warming potential. That is, due to these, the temperature of our atmosphere increases. You can understand this in such a way that these refrigerants generate 2,256 times more heat than carbon dioxide in 100 years.
However, manufacturers are trying to find such refrigerants, which generate less heat in the atmosphere. HFC-32 has also emerged as an alternative, but it is not entirely successful. A study led by researcher Pallav Purohit of IIASA, in collaboration with researchers from the United Nations Environment Program and the University of Leeds, seems to be successful. Studies say that switching to propane can help fight global warming. The study says that by doing this we can avoid an increase of 0.09 °C in global temperature by the end of the century.
The study is published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS). Researchers tested all refrigerants, in which propane proved to be a better solution. Pallava says propane can technically be used in split-ACs up to 7 kW. Although split-ACs using propane are available in the market, they are not being used that way. Pallav says that there is a need to take action quickly to meet the goals of climate neutrality.