Downdraft Cooling Towers in Neot Semadar
Years of living in a desert climate have highlighted the problems associated with air conditioning systems: high costs, noise, environmental pollution and health problems caused by shifts between extreme heat outside and a cool air-conditioned building. Due to thiese conditions, we began a search for an alternative cooling method. We discovered that for centuries the native people of the Middle East have built their homes in accordance with the environment. Three principles guide the traditional approach to building:
A. Use of high thermal mass, which reduces the diurnal temperature range and prevents internal extremes of heat during summer days or cold during winter nights.
B. Utilizing water evaporation for cooling
C. Utilizing wind energy for ventilation (with or without evaporation)
For the past several decades, as a result of energy crises and a growing consciousness of the environment, a renewed interest emerged in energy conservation construction. Analytical studies and empirical research have confirmed the potential of PDEC as a means of providing thermal comfort in hot-dry areas. However, there have been only a handful of buildings where cooling towers have been implemented, and widespread adoption of this technique is hindered by a lack of practical experience.
In November 2010 the wind collector, the final peace of Neot Semadar's Art Center and the cooling system, was lifted to the top of the tower.