Eco-Friendly, Natural Air Conditioner Requires Zero Electricity and Makes Zero Emissions

July 17, 2018 at 10:23 am

Ancient Egyptian air conditioning technology cools air up to 25 degrees by running water over terra-cotta tubes


Modern air conditioning creates a vicious cycle — the more electricity it sucks up and the more hydrofluorocarbons it emits, the hotter the outside world gets, and the more we need to use it.

An Indian architecture company has come up with a solution to this problem.

Based on the ancient Egyptian technology known as “evaporative cooling,” New Delhi-based Ant Studio created a zero-electricity, zero-emissions air conditioner made simply of terra-cotta tubes and water.

Inspired by the structure of a beehive, the cone-shaped clay tubes stacked on top of each other in alternating directions.

When water runs down the structure—it’s sufficient to wet the cones just once or twice a day—the process of evaporation gradually lowers the air temperature. The porous terra-cotta units absorb water that then seeps to the outer surface, where it evaporates and turns into cold air.

The water empties out into a collection basin, giving it a beautiful waterfall effect.

The prototype was capable of cooling the large factory it was built for from 122 degrees to less than 97 degrees around the structure, and 107 in the rest of the factory.

While that still sounds pretty hot, a 15 to 25 degree temperature drop is a decent start, which could reduce the burden on regular air conditioning units quite significantly, or act as the sole cooling method in places that never got above 90 degrees or so.

The unit works indoors or outdoors and performs best when there is a breeze or air moving through it (i.e. near an open window).

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  1. Did I miss something? How is it zero electricity when you have to pump the water back up to the top somehow?

    • The article didn’t say anything about pumping the water back up to the top. It even states “it’s sufficient to wet the cones just once or twice a day”. The water that collects at the bottom I guess could theoretically just run outside and be used to water the grounds or something.

    • the pump can be run on solar power…

    • You don’t pump the water back up. It says you only need to wet the tubes once or twice a day.

    • Why not just pour a bucket of water over the pipes? No pump needed.

    • This article doesn’t show you that “behind” cooling tower, it has a Power Generator. Since India has, at best of times, short periods of brownouts and blackouts. Hence, largest production companies have generators on site. The exhaust from the radiator is blown across the cooling tower. Thus, helping with cooling with use of the by-product of cooling the generators.

    • It says it works best with wind so a small wind turbine to run a continuous water wheel. Just because you can’t imagine work being done without electricity doesn’t mean that a solution doesn’t exist.

  2. Stephen Armitage says:

    Looks excellent. Are thwre any commercially available for homes?
    If available where to obtain?

    • Good lord, did you even read the article or even look at the huge terracotta tubes in the photo? Where the heck are you going to put that?

  3. Randy Bruso says:

    Cooler air, but the humidity level will rise dramatically.
    Air conditioners ‘condition’ by removing humidity. 6 of 1, half a dozen of the other.

  4. Adam Balogh says:

    Please unsubscribe me from your ads

  5. Charles Westberry says:

    This will never work in the states!!

    • They use evaporative coolers all over Arizona. They work more efficiently in low humidity climates. And this is only one design of many possible designs that could be used.

    • Jan & Lourdes Cary says:

      it is already in use in the southwest. We used evaporative coolers in our house in Las Cruces, NM for many years. But in an area where water is precious, these do not conserve it.

  6. Humidity negates the effect. Modern day evaporator are used in arid and semi arid areas quite effectively.

  7. I’m not leaving a window open with 38-45C ambient

  8. Great if you’re in dry areas but probably won’t work at all in humid climates.

  9. This isn’t new, it’s a swamp cooler. Useless in humid areas…where they need ac the most.

  10. Trevor Gates says:

    Evaporative Cooling , as used throughout the world only works in relationship to the amount of water the air can absorb, wet / dry bulb temperatures.
    Good for legionnaires disease unless cleaned regular.

  11. Darlene Holmberg says:

    Wet your hair.

  12. thank you for this article ,by the medium of this article we came to know about eco friendly thing we have

  13. michael harrison says:

    Maybe having a liquid,using a capillary action,would help,or the pump be solar/wind powered,or both,or all.

  14. Even we stupid people of the modern age seem to have been able to capitalize on this wondrous technology!

    Of course, in a humid climate, this is worthless.

    But in a dry climate—like Arizona and Mew Mexico—houses have things called evaporative (“swamp”) coolers on roofs that suck hot dry air through wetted pads and blow it throughout the house, producing delicious, moist, cool air all throughout the inside.

    Cost is for electricity to power the fan and the tiny water pump to wet the pads. No one needs huddle next to the tube manifold here to get cool.

  15. We already use that technology and it is a evaporative cooling system or a cooling tower, delending in the amount of air that you want to cool you need fans and pumps to circulate the water, it also consumes a good deal of water and it only works in places where the relative humidity is low.
    Nothing is free.