Research for a Low-Tech Adiabatic Cooling System


Product design

An adiabatic cooling system uses the evaporation of water to lower the air temperature. This type of system is widely used in desert areas and hot, dry climates. hot, dry climates. It is an efficient alternative to conventional cooling systems, which consume large amounts of electricity, emit greenhouse gases and contribute to the urban heat island. greenhouse gases and contribute to the urban heat island phenomenon.

In anticipation of global warming, it seems urgent to develop adiabatic coolers. From documents found in archives and knowledge obtained during interviews with engineers, I decided to conduct experiments on these air conditioners, in order to better understand their constraints and especially to develop their aesthetic potential. Indeed, air conditioners are generally hidden systems and rarely highlighted, despite their importance.

Adiabatic Cooler Project by Clément Gaillard Graphic research for the evaporation system

Adiabatic Cooler Model by Clément Gaillard Model made of clay balls

The main constraint that limits the use of adiabatic coolers is the humidity of the air: the higher the humidity, the lower the evaporation and the lower the effective cooling capacity. Nevertheless, during hot and dry periods, the temperature reduction obtained can be significant (2 to 4°C).

I carried out tests by developing a prototype of adiabatic cooler based on clay balls which works with two computer fans (12 V). The air is sucked in from below, cooled by passing between the clay balls and then diffused from the top. The removable cover allows for easy watering of the balls from above. This system is not perfected and still needs to be improved: the air inlet surface is too small and the clay balls are too small, which causes important pressure losses.

Adiabatic Cooler Axonometry by Clément Gaillard
Axonometry of the first prototype and disassembly principle

Clay Balls by Clément Gaillard Ventilators by Clément Gaillard Details of the clay balls and fans of the prototype

Adiabatic Cooler Prototype by Clément Gaillard First prototype made from a pierced chimney bolster