Evaporating California's Residential Peak Load

Residential peak energy demand has been creeping upward recently, largely due to increased air conditioning to cool the growing population in California’s hot central valley. Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) has been actively exploring the benefits and drawbacks of evaporative cooling — an energy efficient alternative to refrigerant-based air conditioners. Several projects PG&E has worked on in this area include:

  • Evaluation of Advanced Evaporative Cooler Technologies
    This project compared and evaluated three evaporative cooler technologies—conventional, advanced single-stage and advanced two-stage—that could reduce air conditioning energy use, alleviating peak pressure.
    View the Project Report
  • Advanced Evaporative Cooler Media
    Would increasing the thickness of an evaporative cooler cellulose pad (from 8 to 12 inches) yield sufficient performance gains to merit an increased incentive? This report examined that question, testing new off-the-shelf units with the 12-inch pads.
    View the Project Report
  • Indirect-Direct Evaporative Cooler
    Indirect evaporative cooler technology offers space cooling and peak demand reduction without adding moisture, a feature of conventional evaporative cooling that many customers find unacceptable.
    View the Project Report
  • Indirect-Direct Evaporative Coolers in Relocatable Classrooms
    There are more than 90,000 relocatable K–12 classrooms in schools throughout California, most with old and inefficient air conditioning systems. This project looked at indirect-direct evaporative cooling (IDEC) for reducing energy consumption while delivering sufficient space cooling in these classrooms.
    View the Project Report
  • Evaporative Cooling Market Evaluation
    The market research in this report identifies ways for PG&E to increase market penetration of evaporative cooling.
    View the Project Report