Kool (green) Ideas for air ambulance crisis?

It’s all over the news during the heatwave:

AIR ambulance helicopter crews are collapsing with heat exhaustion on rescue flights because temperatures in the non-air-conditioned cabins sometimes hit 50C.

Leaving aside the politics of how these helicopters came to be ordered without air conditioning units in the first place, what is needed is a quick, reliable solution. And what do you know? An Australian manufacturer has an existing product designed for truck-cabins which could be perfect – a portable low-CO2 emissions air-conditioning unit which can run to keep the cabin cool without the engine needing to be on. Here’s a short description from the manufacturer, Kool Ideas:

Climate Friendly

Proudly Bendigo

Executive Summary

Kool Ideas has developed a United Nations award winning product in Bendigo which is a climate friendly, battery operated refrigerated, reverse cycle air-conditioning unit. The product is protected by International Patents. The main advantages is the product, are that at a very reasonable cost it provides both heating and cooling, portability (weighs just 16kgs) which is powered by a 12 volt automotive battery supply. The versatility allows for solar operation as well. 170 units have been sold over the past 18months with no marketing.

The market opportunities for the Kool Ideas product are diverse and in mammoth proportions, including transport, defence, caravan, farming, mining, automotive, domestic, and other leisure, however Kool Ideas, with its limited resources and capacity is concentrating on the transport industry, in particular trucking.

Trucking industry was chosen for a number of reasons. Firstly, the industry itself identified that it needs to 1) reduce costs, 2) decrease its carbon footprint, and 3) Occupational Health and Safety.

Consider that the driver has compulsory rest/ sleep time, obviously that cannot occur when radiant heat brings the truck cabin temperature to in excess of 50? Celsius. To reduce cabin temperature the Driver, uses old technology, leaves the motor idling so that the air conditioner can cool the cabin. An independent report[1] commissioned by Kool Ideas states that “ ….a typical long haul truck could idle up to 2,400 hours per year, which would use between 1,900 and 2,700 gallons of fuel” This equates to in excess of 10,000 litres and in today’s terms $12,500 for every truck. In addition the report states that the idling process contributes 2,500 tonnes of CO? per truck per annum. The carbon tax consequence will reduce the truck operators’ bottom line by $37,500 ($15 p/t).

Apply those figures on a national basis Australia is looking at 235million litres of Diesel and 620,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide which, when combined will cost the transport industry and ultimately the consumer $320 million annually.

Kool Ideas has the product which addresses this substantial and costly issue..

1. Preliminary Environmental Assessment prepared by Harry van Moorst, Western Region Environment Centre Inc 12 July 2007

Tags: , , , , , , ,