Energy-saving HVAC tech to reduce waste, inefficiency

Ian Nankivell and two like-minded friends – Rodney Jones and David Tomson – wanted to play an active role in sustainable global development while also helping curb carbon emissions through new technology and a new business model.

The trio set out to develop Cresstec, an acronym for Carbon Reducing Energy Saving Solutions and Technologies.

They had big ideas about changing the way society manufactures and operates refrigeration and air conditioning systems – a move to address spiraling energy costs, and enable business and government to meet emissions reduction targets while also lowering operating costs.

“Our common goal was to form a company to supply products that had a positive impact to the world and environment,” Cresstec chief executive Mr Nankivell said. “It’s also about leaving a positive legacy for future generations, while maintaining a healthy bottom line.”

Today the Sydney-based company develops and sells novel green tech focused on energy and emissions reduction technologies.

The Cresstec team

Its flagship technology – dubbed REED (Regulating Energy Efficiency Device) – is one of the reasons why the company has been named a finalist in the 2022 InnovationAus Awards for Excellence in the Energy and Renewables category. The winners will be announced at a Black-Tie gala at The Cutaway venue at Barangaroo on November 17.

REED is an energy saving and leak mitigating technology developed for commercial HVAC-R (heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and refrigeration) systems.

It was designed around the second law of thermodynamics and uses normally wasted energy to improve system efficiency while eliminating refrigerant leaks.

The company has a number of products and services across a variety of industries including: refrigeration and air conditioning; power generation; aerospace; optics; transportation and the automotive industry.

Its advanced refrigerant management and energy savings solution for example changes the way refrigerant is optimised and managed in vapour compression refrigeration and air conditioning systems, producing energy savings of up to 27.6 per cent.

The goal of these products is to play an active role in sustainable global development, where social responsibility, the environment and climate considerations go hand-in-hand with business outcomes.

“The REED technology represents the first of a series of patented, advanced energy saving and emission reduction technologies to be brought to market by Cresstec, with further innovations already in the product pipeline,” Mr Nankivell explained.

“Our long-term goal is to have a REED unit on every commercial air conditioning and refrigeration system on the planet. Helping to reduce our customers operating costs, reduce consumer costs of essential items like foods and medication through cheaper production and storage.”

Change to ‘system architecture’

The company is on a mission to help solve some problems, as it examines current HVAC system designs in the real world to identify where waste and inefficiency occurs.

“Heating Ventilation Air Conditioning and Refrigeration (HVAC-R) is the largest single sector user of electricity on the planet. In Australia alone, it uses nearly a quarter of all electricity generated,” Mr Nankivell said.

“Current advancements with air conditioning and refrigeration are only optimised versions of technology developed in the 1980’s.

“Our approach was to start with a clean sheet design and develop a patentable new method for saving energy that’s retrofittable to existing equipment. REED is the culmination of this and the first change to system architecture in over 30 years.”

What’s worth noting, he said, is the fact the technology offers energy savings of up to 27.6 per cent, which is generated by optimising refrigerant levels in the system to give the required cooling or heating for the least amount of energy, while only using the energy of one incandescent light bulb.

Do you know more? Contact James Riley via Email.

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