STUDY: Could snow reduce need for air conditioning?

Study at UBC Okanagan says it could be beneficial to store snow and then use to cool buildings

UBC Okanagan's Rehan Sadiq (left) and Kasun Hewage.

A recent UBC Okanagan study shows that snow cleared from winter roads can help reduce summer air-conditioning bills.

The UBC study, a computer modelling exercise, found directing a building’s air handling units through a snow dump—snow collected and stored from winter road clearing operations—can reduce the need to use air conditioning during warmer parts of the year.

“What this study shows is that it is possible to use snow to reduce electricity consumption in structures such as apartment buildings,” said Kasun Hewage, an associate professor of engineering at UBC’s Okanagan campus. “We also now know that using material from snow dumps to cool buildings can also help to reduce the greenhouse gasses that air conditioning units emit.”

The study included simulations for large buildings and accounted for the different types of equipment needed in both conventional systems with industrial cooling units and snow-dump based systems, which insulate snow collected during winter months to use during the summer.

“While further research is needed, the potential of this type of system to be used for large buildings and institutions looks promising,” said Rehan Sadiq, a professor of engineering at UBC’s campus in Kelowna. “Aside from making good use of waste material, this type of system could eventually help large organizations such as municipalities recoup some of the considerable costs associated with snow removal.”

The study—done in collaboration with UBC graduate student Venkatesh Kumar—was recently published in the journal Clean Technologies and Environmental Policy.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Crews building structure at former Summerland train station site

West Summerland Station will pay tribute to railway history, serve as trail marker

$30,000 over 30 weeks for local causes

Send us your good stories and you could win money for your favourite cause

Additional Penticton washrooms open in time for weekend

Washrooms at Riverside, Skaha Lake Park, Okanagan Lake Park, more, now open

Tap Truck Okanagan launches as first location in Canada

The business is built on a restored 1957 Chevy panel van and ready to serve craft beer on tap, wine or cider

First day back; attending elementary school amid COVID-19

“… Social connections are certainly important for kids,” said Carmi principal Dave Ritchie.

VIDEO: B.C. dentist gets grand welcome home after two months in hospital fighting COVID-19

Michael Chow was given a surprise send off by hospital staff and ‘welcome home’ from neighbours

‘Like finding a needle in a haystack’: Ancient arrowhead discovered near Williams Lake

The artifact is believed to be from the Nesikip period between 7,500 BP to 6,000 BP

Indigenous families say their loved ones’ deaths in custody are part of pattern

Nora Martin joins other Indigenous families in calling for a significant shift in policing

Friends, family mourn Salt Spring Island woman killed in suspected murder-suicide

A GoFundMe campaign has been launched for Jennifer Quesnel’s three sons

PHOTOS: Anti-racism protesters gather in communities across B.C.

More protests are expected through the weekend

Indigenous chief alleges RCMP beat him during arrest that began over expired licence plate

Athabasca Chipewyan Chief Allan Adam calling for independent investigation

‘I’m pissed, I’m outraged’: Federal minister calls out police violence against Indigenous people

Indigenous Minister Marc Miller spoke on recent incidents, including fatal shooting of a B.C. woman

UPDATED: Pair accused of ‘horrific’ assault at Vancouver’s Oppenheimer Park arrested

Police say Jason Tapp, 30, and Nicole Edwards, 33, did not show up to meet their bail supervisor this week

Most Read