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Published: 17 October 2011

Low-energy aircon wins national cleantech competition

An air-conditioning system that can reduce energy consumption (and thus greenhouse gas emissions) in commercial and industrial buildings by up to 85 per cent has won the Australian Clean Technologies Ideas Competition.

SMAC’s retrofit of this office building in Sydney’s CBD resulted in a 50 per cent cut in energy consumption.
SMAC’s retrofit of this office building in Sydney’s CBD resulted in a 50 per cent cut in energy consumption.
Credit: LGS/The Sustainability Report

SMAC Technologies has applied an air-conditioning technology known as the Shaw Method of Air Conditioning (SMAC) to demonstrate energy and cost savings in a number of Australian commercial buildings. The Shaw method was patented by Australian inventor Dr Allan Shaw in 1989.

The competition – an initiative of the Supplier Advocate Program and Clean Technology Focus for Supply Chains Program – is supported by Enterprise Connect, Commercialisation Australia, the CSIRO and Austrade.

Federal Innovation Minister, Senator Kim Carr, said of SMAC, ‘This type of technology not only builds strong new Australian-based manufacturing industries, but also helps existing industries to be more globally competitive and resilient to price rises.

‘[It] ticks all the boxes in helping tackle climate change and cutting our carbon footprint.’

SMAC has reduced the annual energy consumption of the University of Queensland Library and the Art Gallery of South Australia by 85 and 60 per cent, respectively.

The technology is equally suited to retrofitting as well as to new energy efficient buildings.

Since SMAC was commissioned in 2010 to retrofit the 19-year-old 120 Sussex Street building in Sydney’s CBD, energy consumption has been reduced by more than 50 per cent. The building has achieved a 6 star NABERS energy rating and was assessed as having an occupant productivity improvement of $180/sq.m.

SMAC Technologies and other finalists were mentored by the Innovation Department and competition partners. This gave them the necessary business acumen to help take their ideas to the global market.

SMAC will represent Australia at the international Cleantech Open Global Ideas Competition in the United States. The company will compete against entrants from 90 countries for over $100 000 in services to help launch their idea.

Sources: Federal Innovation Minister media release, Australian Clean Technologies Ideas Competition website, The Sustainability Report

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