Next generation cooling systems: an analysis of two case studies in buildings
The demand for sustainable space cooling technology is increasing globally. Passive cooling systems should be implemented, and when necessary, combined with active cooling. This article provides two practical examples, one implementing an active system and the second applying a passive solution using a simulation tool.
According to Eurostat data, about 50% of all energy consumed in the EU is used for heating and cooling, and more than 70% still comes from fossil fuels, mostly natural gas. In the residential sector, around 80% of the final energy consumption is used for space and water heating. It is estimated that nearly 20% of the total global electricity demand is used for cooling purposes through air conditioners and electric fans in buildings. Furthermore, the electricity consumption due to cooling is expected to increase due to urbanisation, industrialisation, climate change, and as the standard of living increases globally with some estimates predicting a tripling of the current electricity demand for cooling. 
Cooling technologies have been evolving quickly over recently years, due in part to the implementation of several rules at European level, such as the 2016 EU Heating, the Cooling Strategy, or the EU Heat Pump Action Plan (planned for Q4 of 2023). In particular, the 2021 proposal for a review of the Renewable Energy Directive strengthened the heating and cooling target (Article 23) as well as the district heating and cooling target (Article 24).