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Minister Imbroda (in the middle) presenting the plan, Source: Junta de Andalucía

Andalusia opts for sustainable air conditioning in schools

Andalusia opts for sustainable air conditioning in schools

Thanks to increased investments in the educational infrastructure there

On 26 April, Javier Imbroda, the Andalusian Minister of Education, held a press conference to present the second instalment of the 2020-2027 Educational Infrastructures Plan. One of the most striking features of this government programme was the commitment to implement the sustainable energy transformation of 400 schools in the region for the cost of 140 million euros.

More specifically, that means the installation of solar panels and adiabatic air conditioning in the school buildings.

In Spain, this is referred to as ‘bioclimatization’

Mr Imbroda described this part of the large plan as “the greatest commitment in history to bioclimatization and renewable energies” in the regional educational infrastructure. In Spain, the term ‘bioclimatization’ refers to the sustainable generating and use of energy for the purpose of air conditioning. This is also the first time a programme has been enacted with the aim of improving air conditioning and the energy efficiency of these buildings.

The installation of photovoltaic solar panels will allow a drastic reduction in the consumption of electrical energy in educational centres, also providing that the surplus can be re-routed into the general grid, thus generating a return on investment.

As for adiabatic cooling, this is a system alternative to the conventional air conditioners, which works by lowering the temperature of the indoor air by evaporating water. Its main advantages are low electricity consumption (up to 80% lower than air conditioning), lower CO2 emissions and lower initial investment and operating costs. In addition, it works with the windows open, in line with what is recommended in the current Covid-19 situation, and always uses fresh air, without recirculation, thus improving the indoor air quality.

These 400 dual installations will be carried out in centres located in areas with the greatest climatic severity in summer. It is also planned that both adiabatic cooling and photovoltaic installations will be incorporated into the design standards for educational buildings in Andalusia so that all new centres that are being built will have both systems.

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