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

Okanagan temperatures to be in the double digits all week

Kelowna’s forecast projects a high of 17 degrees on Thursday

Shuswap residents invited to show white heart in support of health-care workers

Emailed messages will be posted at Shuswap Lake General Hospital

Salmon Arm Silverbacks remember Humboldt Broncos on anniversary of fatal crash

Sixteen people killed, 13 injured after semi collided with team bus on April 6, 2018

Immunocompromised, at risk Shuswap residents keeping their distance

Family of young heart transplant recipient, asthma sufferer share how they’re coping

Salmon Arm beats Vernon in BCHL video final

Silverbacks to meet Cowichan Valley Capitals in league’s simulated video Fred Page Cup final

WATCH: Kelowna songwriters release health care workers video tribute

The couple recently asked for selfies from frontline workers to include in the music video

Van crashes into Kamloops home

Police say the driver went into medical distress before the crash

Kelowna RCMP seizes guns, illicit drugs following disturbance

RCMP seized three firearms and a variety of suspected illicit and prescription drugs

West Kelowna birthday parades cancelled, Easter drive-by egg hunt still on

West K Party Parades made the decision to keep community safe

Man who allegedly spit on Kelowna cop facing assault charges

‘Spitting on anyone is always a serious assault but to do so in this current pandemic is particularly unacceptable’

Giants Head Grind postponed

Uphill race in Summerland will not proceed due to COVID-19 pandemic

SASCU offers payment relief for customers impacted by COVID-19 crisis

Salmon Arm Savings and Credit Union rolls out mortgage deferral options

UPDATE: UK PM Boris Johnson moved to intensive care after COVID-19 symptoms worse

He has been quarantined in his Downing St. residence since being diagnosed with COVID-19 on March 26

Most Read