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.

Just Posted

Update: Body found on Blind Bay beach ‘recently deceased male’

Police and coroner investigating, death deemed ‘non-suspicious’

Photos: Salmon Arm celebrates Paralympic champion Natalie Wilkie

Hometown hero welcomed home with parade, recognition ceremony at city hall

Update: Fire at Best Western Hotel sends man to hospital for smoke inhalation

Crews on scene Friday morning, fire extinguished quickly

Man shot by police in 2017 pleads guilty to string of offences

Kaymen Winter gets two years, opts for trial on two charges related to Salmon Arm car wash shooting

Shuswap drug smuggler pleads guilty in U.S. court

Colin Martin admits to using helicopters to transport marijuana and cocaine across the border

What’s happening

Find out which events are taking place in the Okanagan and Shuswap this weekend

Canucks sing the Blues as they fall to St. Louis 4-1

Berglund nets two, including the game-winner, to lift St. Louis over Vancouver

Calving season brings hope for Cariboo ranchers

Still a lot of work ahead to recover from the wildfires

Canada’s Kaetlyn Osmond wins figure skating world title

The 22-year-old fwon the women’s singles crown with her Black Swan routine

Changing philosophies for seniors’ care

Aging baby boomers impacting continuum of care

B.C. pooches celebrate National Puppy Day

Check out some of the submissions from around B.C. for National Puppy Day 2018

Alberta tells B.C. to stop opposing pipelines if it doesn’t like gas prices

John Horgan said he would like to see the federal government step in to deal with high gas prices.

B.C. mother hit in truck rampage dies

Family confirms mother of four Kelly Sandoval dies almost two months after being hit.

Dance into spring with Shujazz

Listen to music, enjoy an introductory dance lesson on Tuesday, March 27

Most Read