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The Centre for Energy Technology (ZET) at the University of Bayreuth has handed over a CO₂-powered air conditioning system to the Kulmbach Vocational School Centre (BSZ) in Germany for use in its operations and teaching.

The system, which was developed on the campus of the University of Bayreuth, releases considerably less greenhouse gas than conventional air conditioning systems and exemplifies the great ecological potential of this type of system.

As a demonstrator, it will serve vocational training in the field of air conditioning and refrigeration technology in Kulmbach. The project was funded by the Bavarian State Ministry for the Environment and Consumer Protection.

BSZ director, Alexander Battistella, said the air conditioning system provides pupils with access to the most up-to-date know-how research in the market today.

“As future specialists, they can use this system to develop an understanding of important energy technology issues that need to be solved while complying with strict ecological requirements," he said.

“A first test run recently met with great interest among the students of BSZ. In class, they learned about the ecological advantages of CO₂ as a refrigerant and learned about current changes in European Union laws aimed at increasing climate protection.”
Government funding for the project totalled $364, 614 (€ 240,000) over three years.

The newly created Centre for Energy Technology (ZET) at the university will use the funds to undertake research on the use of environmentally friendly refrigerants for air conditioning in buildings, specifically CO₂ as a working medium in decentralised air conditioning systems.

In comparison with the conventional refrigerant R410a, the ecological balance of CO₂ air-conditioning systems is impressive, according to ZET director, Dr Ing Dieter Brüggemann

“Assuming weather and climate conditions typical for Germany, the greenhouse gas emissions of air conditioning systems can be reduced by around 26 per cent through the use of CO₂,” he said.

ZET studies show CO₂ air-conditioning system could contribute to a significant reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.
"Researching and testing innovative energy technologies that are highly efficient in economic terms, and at the same time sustainably promote climate and environmental protection, has been a central field of work at the University of Bayreuth for many years,” Brüggemann said.

“I am very pleased that, with this pilot project, we are building a bridge from university research to the practical training of pupils passionate about energy technology issues, who see their professional future in this field.”

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