Solar Powered Air Conditioner for a Cool Future

If you are looking to go green for your household, one of the options you should really investigate is a solar powered air conditioner. Solar air conditioning can be done through passive solar power, solar thermal energy conversion and photo-voltaic conversion.

No question, air conditioning has improved people’s lives, it helps us sleep better and work more efficiently. As developing nations are getting wealthier people want to improve their quality of life, which includes air cons.

solar powered air conditioner and water heater

Solar powered air conditioner on a flat roof.

In most countries the electricity consumption for air-conditioning is increasing dramatically and it is expected to increase by a factor of 4 in 2020. With the higher demand several problems arise: the extensive use of electrically driven cooling is leading to capacity straining power demand peaks in the summer and increasing of greenhouse gases, either through leakage of cooling fluids or the use of non-sustainable energy.

How does a solar powered air conditioner work?

In practice, the following processes apply: solar collectors convert solar radiation to heat that is then fed into a thermally driven cooling process or into a direct air-conditioning process.

Solar powered air conditioning is an eminently smart technology because demand and supply of energy coincide. Solar radiation is abundantly available especially in the summer time, where the need for air-conditioning is at its highest.

With a solar power air conditioner you can go green, while you save money and energy.

The cooling of commercial and residential homes is a growing market all over the world due to the increasing needs for thermal comfort, higher working and living standards. Did you know that conventional air conditioners consuming as much as 30% of a home’s total electricity demand?

Solar energy can at least in principle cover a vast amount of the energy needs for cooling. Solar powered air conditioner installation has proven its effectiveness in recent years and nowadays small and medium size systems are spreading into the market.

There are 2 systems available, 100% off grid and hybrid technologies.

At the moment the price of a solar air conditioner is up to 4 times higher than a conventional model, this is due to their limited numbers and the lack of consumer awareness about the technology. As we´ll probably see continually rising temperatures together with rising energy costs, the new solar cooling technology will certainly gain momentum soon.

By incorporating the solar thermal system into the heating- and hot water system, additional primary energy will be saved.

What else can keep the temperatures in your house comfortable?

There are a lot of passive forms of cooling for you home.

  • Proper insulation allows the cool air to remain inside rather than escaping outside.
  • Taller ceilings.
  • Cross-ventilation.
  • Porches to shade windows.
  • Energy-efficient windows.
  • Ceiling fans.
  • Roof exhausts fans.
  • External window shutters.

Improved building concepts, targeting on reduction of cooling loads by passive and innovative measures, and the use of alternative energies in reducing the remaining cooling and heating demands of buildings, are of interest. Solar air conditioning will play an increasing role in green energy and energy-saving building designs.

Useful resources: home-energy-systems.pdf

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