Prize Details

Prize Criteria

Global Cooling Prize participants will be required to design their cooling technology to have at least 5X lower climate impact than the baseline unit and no more than 2X the cost of the baseline unit cost at assessed industrial scale. The prize supplementary criteria are under review for finalization which will be completed within 60 days of the launch and the indicated prize supplementary criteria are to be considered as directional guidance until full ratification has been secured. The performance of the technology solution will be evaluated against both the Primary Criteria and Supplementary Criteria, once ratified, as detailed below.

All the performance metrics will be compared with the baseline unit

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Baseline Unit

Explanation
The baseline room air-conditioning unit selected is a 1.5 ton fixed-speed, mini-split type unit (no outdoor air supplied by unit) with an Energy Efficiency Ratio (EER) of 3.5 and using R410A refrigerant with a global warming potential (GWP) of 2,088. The baseline unit’s electricity consumption is based on RMI’s energy model, simulating a 1000 sq. feet. south facing apartment in New Delhi, and is determined to be 2,086 kWh/year. This includes the electricity consumption of the AC unit (1,903 kWh/year) as well as the electricity consumption of a standalone dehumidifier (183 kWh/year) to optimally maintain the desired humidity levels for comfort.
Rationale
The baseline unit was intended to be the most common, average efficiency room air-conditioning unit being sold in 2018. Fixed-speed air-conditioning units account for a majority of the residential room air-conditioner market in India in 2018. After reviewing research reports and manufacturer’s websites, we believe a fixed-speed EER 3.5, R410A mini split unit is most representative of new units being sold in 2018. The purpose of adding a standalone dehumidifier was to maintain the relative humidity to desired comfort levels. Our research showed that the split AC systems are not able to dehumidify sufficiently without over-cooling the space and thus a standalone dehumidifier unit was added in our analysis as being the lowest cost approach to meet the required humidity level of 60% relative humidity. However, during the lab and real world testing phase, the cost and energy use of a dehumidifier will only be added if required to meet the humidity goal.
Black-Thermostat - Climate Impact

Climate Impact: Energy and Refrigerant

Must have 5X less climate impact than the baseline unit: Energy and Refrigerant Criteria

Explanation

The cooling solution must show the potential for at least 80% less climate impact, considering the reduction in grid electricity consumption (kWh) and refrigerant GWP. The reduction in grid electricity consumption will be assessed through a side-by-side operation testing- a combination of lab and real world testing. The solutions will be evaluated using a scoring method with 80% of weight allocated to grid-electricity consumption reduction (kWh) with respect to the baseline, and 20% of weight allocated to refrigerant GWP (global warming potential) reduction when compared to a baseline.

Rationale

Residential cooling demand is expected to increase by 5X in developing countries over the next 30 years. A cooling solution that has 5X lower climate impact is needed to reverse the trend in increasing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions due to this unprecedented growth in cooling demand. We believe 5X strikes the right balance between being a breakthrough that has not yet been done and being one that is achievable. Current best available air conditioning units are already approaching 3.5x lower climate impact than baseline. We reviewed a number of breakthrough technologies and have sketched out theoretical paths to achieving up to 5X less grid electricity use based on combining technology that already exists today. This when combined with a low GWP refrigerant could take us beyond the 5X climate impact requirement.

Scoring

The percentage of electricity and refrigerant GWP reductions achieved as compared to the baseline will be combined together using assigned weighting to obtain a total percentage score. The weighting for electricity and refrigerant is based on RMI modeling and the report of the Technology and Economic Assessment Panel (TEAP) in 2018, which found that refrigerant emissions are ~ 20 percent of life-cycle GHG emissions for room air conditioners, and operational emissions are ~ 80 percent, taking into account developing market grid emissions intensity factors.

To achieve a 5x lower climate impact, a minimum of 80% reduction (electricity and refrigerant combined) from the baseline will be required. A 100% reduction from the baseline would be achieved when the proposed cooling technology uses no electricity from the grid and zero GWP refrigerant. This percent score will then be converted to a point system with 80% score receiving 100 points and 100% score receiving 200 points. Any percentage score that achieves a climate impact between 80% and 100% will be ratably converted to equivalent points.

This scoring methodology will be used to evaluate the Detailed Technical Applications of the participants and rank the top 10 finalists. Following field and lab testing of the baseline unit and proposed solution, the top 10 cooling solutions will receive an updated score following the same scoring methodology. Ultimately, the final winner will be selected with primary regard to the ranking based on the climate impact criteria combined with the affordability criteria with a 71.5 and 28.5 weighting applied respectively, reflecting the Prize’s objective of identifying a solution with 5x less climate impact at no more than 2x the cost of today's standard AC units to consumers.

Example

A solution that uses R290 refrigerant (GWP 3) achieves a 99.9% reduction from the baseline GWP. If it also consumes 4x less electricity than the baseline, it achieves a 75% reduction from the baseline electricity. This when combined together using the assigned 80%-20% electricity refrigerant weighting would result in combined impact of 80% reduction from the baseline i.e. it achieves a 5X climate impact. Therefore, this proposed solution will receive 100 points. Similarly, if the proposed solution is powered by solar PV mounted on it without exceeding the overall unit volumetric sizing criteria and uses zero GWP, it achieves a combined impact of 100% from the baseline and will receive 200 points.

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Black-Affordability

Affordability

Must demonstrate cost potential at full industrialization of no more than twice (2X) the baseline unit cost

Explanation

In large-scale manufacturing (defined as 100,000 units per year), the assessed first cost of the cooling solution must be no more than 2X the baseline unit. The assessed first cost will be analyzed by an industrial engineer using the submitted bill of materials. The typical margins and distribution costs will be added to this cost to arrive at the final cost to the consumer excluding the Goods and Services Tax (GST).

The baseline unit’s cost to the consumer provided below for year 2017-18 acts as a reference for the purpose of helping the participants to determine the target cost of their prototype. The baseline unit’s cost will be finalized by the technical review committee with reference to the previous full year’s average cost of a 1.5 ton fixed speed 3 star split air conditioner offered by the market player with highest share.

Rationale

We studied the 2017 India room air conditioner market report and determined the average cost of 1.5 ton fixed speed 3 star split air conditioner offered by the market player with highest share. Based on the research, the cost is determined to be Rs. 35,600 ($546, 2017 average USD to INR conversion rate from Reserve Bank of India) based on the average real price offered in the market in 2017-18.

Even at an initial 2X higher cost to consumers, RMI analysis shows that a 5X less climate impact cooling solution would help consumers save money with a three to four year payback period. Using the electricity rates for residential consumers to be INR 6 per kWh (typically in Delhi), our analysis shows that the consumers will see a total net-present-value savings of about US$840 over a 10-year lifetime.

Scoring

A solution that achieves the 2X cost criteria will receive a total of 100 points. We also incorporate the hypothetical case of zero cost i.e. the proposed solution is made available to consumers free of cost. This zero cost will receive a total of 200 points. Any cost between the 2X and zero (free AC unit) will be ratably converted to equivalent points.

Example

A cooling solution that is at par with the baseline cost to consumers i.e. INR 35,600, will receive 150 points. A solution that has a two times cost i.e. INR 71,200 will receive 100 points. Ultimately the final winner will be selected with primary regard to the ranking based on the climate impact criteria combined with the affordability criteria with a 71.5 and 28.5 weighting applied respectively, reflecting the Prize’s objective of identifying a solution with 5x less climate impact at no more than 2x the cost of today's standard AC units to consumers.

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Black-Power

Power Draw

Power consumption at full load i.e. rated cooling output, should not exceed 700 W

Explanation

The maximum or peak power draw will be calculated by using demand meters which sample at a very high frequency (fraction of a second) to determine maximum power drawn by the equipment in a given time period. The maximum draw, 700 W, represents a 60 percent reduction from baseline, and a 30 percent reduction from best-in-class units.

Rationale

Reducing power demand is critical in avoiding new power generation and distribution systems that would otherwise be needed to meet increased demand for cooling. Based on our energy modeling results and review of currently available air-conditioning technology, we believe a 60 percent power reduction is achievable. Our research also shows that a 2x decrease in power is associated with a 3x reduction in energy consumption. a-speed AC units are at ~1000 W max power draw. Extending this relationship to a 5x minimum level of efficiency suggests that a 60 percent reduction in power draw is achievable. In addition, alternative technologies such as solar photovoltaics (PV), battery storage, and deep space radiative cooling could offer further opportunity for reducing maximum power draw.

Example power draw from a high-performance unit:

1-ton HotSpot Energy DC VRF mini-split = 980 W (max) for a COP (coefficient of performance) of 5.6.

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Black-Water

Water

Water consumption, if needed, for operation should not exceed 14 liters per day

Explanation

The cooling solution should consume less than 14 liters of water per day for the operation (direct onsite water use).

Rationale

The breakthrough cooling technology should be water neutral; that is, the technology must not use more water than it saves through reduced energy consumption. Additionally, the new AC unit must use less than 10 percent of the water used for domestic purposes by a single household.

On average, the power sector in India consumed 2.1 cubic meters of water per megawatt-hour (2.1 liters per kilowatt-hour) of energy produced in 2014. Since the new AC unit will have 5x less climate impact, the increased efficiency will reduce water consumption by 28 liters per day (during summer months).

To be conservative, in a high renewable-energy scenario in 2030, the power sector will consume 1.57 liters of water per kilowatt-hour of electricity produced. Using this number, the higher-efficiency AC unit will save 20 liters of water per day during summer months. A household in India consumes an average of 400 liters of water per day for domestic purposes.

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Emissions

Zero onsite emissions from any fossil fuel based captive power source

Explanation

The proposed cooling solution should not use fossil fuel based captive power sources for its operation ensuring zero onsite emissions.

Rationale

The proposed cooling solution should not use any onsite combustion technology to operate the unit. We believe that the emissions intensity (kg CO2 per kWh) of the electricity grid will continue to decline over time. Onsite combustion of fossil fuels to power the AC unit both presents barriers to scaling and can result in technological lock in.

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Black-Materials

Refrigerant

Zero ozone depleting potential (ODP) and lower toxicity (class A) refrigerant complying with IEC 60335-2-40 (2018) or ISO 5149

Explanation

The cooling solution should use a refrigerant that has a zero ODP in line with the Montreal Protocol.

The cooling solution should use a lower toxicity (Class A) refrigerant as per ISO 817:2014 standard.

The cooling solution should be capable of meeting test market regulations, or in their absence, international guidelines IEC 60335-2-40 (2018) or ISO 5149:2014 pertaining to safety and environment performance of systems using flammable refrigerants.

In addition to above requirements, including the GWP of the refrigerant reflected in the Climate impact calculation, the technical review committee may also take into consideration the charge quantity where materially different to that of the baseline unit.

Rationale

To mitigate the environmental impact from cooling, the refrigerant that is used should abide by the Montreal Protocol of zero ODP refrigerant. The refrigerant used should also meet the Class A toxicity criteria and comply with the test market or international safety standards to ensure it is safe use in the air conditioners for residential sector.

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Black-Scalability

Scalability

Usable in existing homes, rather than requiring a "designed in" engineering solution

Explanation

The installation of the new cooling solution should not require any major infrastructure upgrades or structural modification to existing dwellings. For example, the installation of the super-efficient and climate friendly air conditioner units cannot mandate replacement of walls or major structural, electrical, or plumbing upgrades to existing multifamily apartment buildings. If a split AC solution is proposed, the volume should not exceed 0.27 cubic meters for the outdoor unit and 0.15 cubic meters for the indoor unit. If the proposed solution is a packaged unit, the maximum volume should not exceed 0.42 cubic meters. These volumes are inclusive of any dedicated renewable power generation resources that make up the proposed solution.

Rationale

The cooling solution is expected to be installed in new construction buildings as well as in existing building stock. Since the prevalent vapor-compression technology does not require major in-apartment electrical or plumbing work, the new super-efficient and climate friendly air conditioning units should be able to scale in the same market conditions.

The cooling solution should be of a reasonable size such that it can be easily transported and installed in most buildings. In order to ensure viable solutions that are widely applicable, total volumetric size is limited to twice the size of a typical AC unit. Reference dimensions are based on the 1.5 ton, fixed speed Voltas mini split unit available in July 2018, the Voltas Split AC 183 JZJ1.

Indoor Unit: 990 x 315 x 242 mm (WxHxD) = 0.0755 m3

Outdoor Unit: 840 x 540 x 300 (WxHxD) = 0.136 m3

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Black-Materials

Materials

Use of materials with excessively high embodied carbon or rare earth materials should be optimized

Explanation

There will be no threshold requirements in relation to embodied carbon and rare earth materials but the Technical Review Committee will, at their discretion, include an assessment of life cycle impact on any solution if they believe, in their judgement, that the solution includes materials with excessively high embodied carbon or rare earth materials in their final determination of suitability for progression to award.

Rationale

The cooling solution should not result in unintended consequences in the future by use of materials that have excessively high embodied carbon or by using high quantities of rare earth materials. A life cycle impact assessment of any technology allows us to understand these consequences in greater depth. The cooling solutions should therefore focus on optimizing, and where possible minimizing the use of such materials, in developing the next generation innovative air conditioning solutions.

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Black-Operations

Operation

Maintain 27 ± 0.5 °C DBT and 60 ± 10% RH indoor conditions for the duration of the test period

Explanation

The cooling solution should be able to maintain 27 ± 0.5 °C dry bulb temperature (DBT) and 60 ± 10 % relative humidity (RH) indoor conditions for the entire duration of the test period. The solution must be able to demonstrate performance in the local and environmental conditions (humidity, building type, air quality etc) of the actual and simulated test markets.

Rationale

In order to maintain comfort and a healthy indoor environment, humidity must be controlled. Also, a temperature of 27˚C is increasingly being used internationally as the standard indoor set point for air-conditioning ratings. Some tolerance is allowed in both temperature and relative humidity to account for errors in measurements. The proposed solution will be used in a variety of outdoor environment conditions, and should be capable of demonstrating performance in actual and simulated test markets.

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