Global quest for clean cold answers

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Published: 08 January 2020


Experts from around the globe are joining forces to create a new clean cold research hub.

Led by UK universities, the aim is to allow the use of radical new cooling solutions to help small-holder farmers, medicine suppliers and others make the most of clean and sustainable chilled distribution systems.
 
The Centre for Sustainable Cooling (CSC) will look to transform research into affordable technology, working through global partners including Kyushu University, Japan; Nanyang Technological University, Singapore; Norwegian University of Science and Technology; CEPT India, Technical University – Sofia; Institute of Engineering Thermophysics (IET), Chinese Academy of Sciences, and University of Science and Technology Beijing, plus UK universities such as Aston, Birmingham, Brighton, Brunel, Heriot-Watt, London South Bank and Loughborough.

Founding Director Toby Peters, Professor of Cold Economy at the University of Birmingham, said: “Access to cooling is not a luxury. It is about fresh food, safe medicines and protection from heat for populations in a warming world. It is vital for economic productivity as it allows workers, farmers and students to function effectively in comfortable environments. 
In establishing the Centre for Sustainable Cooling, we are leading the drive towards the radical intervention needed to deliver a lot more cooling for people, products and processes our over-heating world will demand sustainably.

“If we are to deliver access to cooling for all who need it, we will potentially see four times as many appliances deployed using five times as much energy as today. How we meet this challenge and provide cooling for all will have important ramifications not only for our climate, but also for our broader aspirations for a sustainable future.”

Professor Martin Freer, Director of Birmingham Energy Institute, said: “Sustainable cooling starts with what we can do today to reduce energy demand and deliver efficiency improvements. Though such interventions are important, putting doors on supermarket chiller cabinets will not deliver the required reductions in energy usage, emissions and pollution. 

“The CSC will lead the way in radically reshaping cooling provision – translating research into practical, affordable solutions applications whilst helping to develop innovative policy and business process that result in a cooler world.”

The University of Birmingham is also funding a new dedicated lectureship and a research assistant - both of whom will work in the centre. The researchers will launch key areas of research activity crossing core disciplines relevant to sustainable cooling.  Other universities will be announcing new research projects in 2020.