A new Australian portable air-conditioner has been developed to consider the effects of climate change by reducing carbon dioxide emissions by five times.
Australia is set to experience above average temperatures through February to April, with the chance of further heatwaves remaining high across the mainland. With air-conditioning a major culprit in the rising energy demand, straining electricity grids and heating up an already warming planet, Aussies are being urged to rethink the way they keep their cool.
The 2018 IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) report estimates that by 2100, with current technologies, emissions from residential room air-conditioners will be about 15 percent of today’s total emissions. Leaking HFC refrigerant gases have a global warming potential thousands of times that of CO2. And these gasses, released from billions of powerful air-conditioners, could make climate change 25 percent worse than today’s forecasts1.
Traditional air-conditioning units still rely on technology that’s a century old and the need for sustainable air-conditioning solutions has never been greater. Australian engineer, James Trevelyan came up with a solution and has tested it in the hottest and most humid climates around the world – including Australia’s hottest town, Marble Bar, located in the Pilbara region of Western Australia. His invention reduces harmful emissions by five times, with even greater reductions in future versions. It reduces running costs by up to 75 percent in Australia and relieves stress on overloaded electricity grids. The brainchild uses four to eight times less energy and one fifth of the refrigerant used by normal room air-conditioners.
Featuring patented technology, Close Comfort uses compressor refrigeration, enabling an instant refreshing crisp air flow for localised cooling. It combines the feel of air-conditioning with the humble electric fan.
Close Comfort portable air-conditioners are distinct from other devices – the single unit is truly portable and lightweight without the need for installation, water or a window duct to run, just simply plug it in. The unit has proved popular with retirees, Aged Services providers, parents with children, empty nesters, renters and those living off-grid or increasing their use of renewable or sustainable power.
|Close Comfort||Traditional Split Air-Conditioner||Other portables|
|300 Watts electrical |
850-1200 Watts cooling
0.27 tonnes CO2 in 3 years
|3-8 times energy consumption (depends on room insulation, windows, door opening, etc) |
1200-2400 Watts electrical
3500-9000 Watts cooling
0.7-2 tonnes CO2 in three years
|4-8 times energy consumption |
1000-2400 Watts electrical
2900-7000 Watts cooling
1-2 tonnes CO2 in 3 years
|Significant reduction in CO2 emissions2 |
0.27 tonnes in three years, equivalent to 110 litres petrol
|Higher in CO2 emissions |
1-2 tonnes in three years, equivalent to 300-900 litres petrol
|Higher in CO2 emissions |
1-2 tonnes in three years, equivalent to 450-900 litres petrol
|Quiet like a fan 47-54 dB||35-50 dB depending on model and fan speed, quietest solution||Noisy, can be hard to hear what people are saying 55-63 dB|
|Lowest cost air-conditioning solution, three-year cost $880, purchase price $699, monthly running cost $25-$30||Highest cost |
$1500 or more to install it and $120-$250 a month for electricity
|Higher cost |
Total three-year cost $1000-$2000, purchase price $350-$990, monthly running cost $120-$250 (Sydney)
|Small, easy to move/carry |
55cm high x 29cm x 39cm, 17.5kg [half the weight]
|Fixed position||Heavier to move |
78cm high x 38cm x 46cm, 32kg
|Unlimited mobility – can be used indoor and out||Fixed indoor position||Almost immobile – requires a window left open|
|Operates with window or door open, healthy fresh air circulation||Operates with windows and doors closed, recirculates stale room air, no fresh air circulation||Operates with window open for exhaust duct, sucks in outside air|
1. Campbell, I., Kalanki, A., & Sachar, S. (2018). Global Cooling Prize: Solving the Global Cooling Challenge – how to counter the climate threat from room air conditioners. Retrieved from www.globalcoolingprize.org