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Wind Tower Air Condition

The students Lorena, Mona & Sofie of the Summer University 2018 thought in their project work about how to cool the rooms in the building of the university in the future without having to use energy-intensive air conditioning systems.

August 2020 was exceptionally hot and dry. Our charrette workshop room in the old cafeteria of the Wehrle factory could hardly be cooled down to a tolerable level, and even the four fans that had been set up only managed to improve the situation somewhat through cross-ventilation.

Cross-ventilation was the magic word, and in the process the three discovered the vernacular architecture of oriental wind towers. As can be read on pages 26 to 30 of the Charrett Book for the Summer University 2018, they developed a wind tower system for the future college building that would enable cross-ventilation and cooling of the seminar and office rooms.


Sophie's wind tower

In the faculty we were quite enthusiastic about this proposal. At the beginning of the Summer University, we had asked Fritz Reusswig how the consequences of climate change could affect Emmendingen and the region of South Baden, and the result is that here, as in many other regions, the number of hot days is expected to increase.

One only needs to look around and realize that the number of air-conditioning systems on roofs and under windows has also increased considerably in Germany and thus the energy consumption for cooling buildings and rooms will predictably increase considerably in the next few years, unless one could develop air-conditioning systems that consume very little additional energy.

Wolfgang Serbser, Fritz Reusswig and Duane Phillips have developed a project outline, how the vernacular wind tower architecture, as it has been developed in Persia for more than 2000 years, could be used to develop modular remote air conditioning systems, which could supply whole quarters not only cost-effectively but also energy-extensively with cooling.

We will report on the progress of the project here.