What is a Solar Air Conditioner?

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solar air conditioner  is a technology that aims to reduce energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions by utilising sunlight to produce cooling. It is a growing market and although initially it might cost more than a conventional air conditioning system, in the long run it can save a home money on their electricity bills.

There are a few different types of solar powered air conditioners. There are grid connected, off grid and hybrid options available. Those that are hybrid use DC power to run directly from their solar panels which cuts out the energy loss involved in AC to DC and DC to AC conversion. These are the best option for those that live off the grid or are looking to be self sufficient and do not want to rely on the national grid for their electricity.

Cooling the Green Way: Exploring the Advantages of Solar Air Conditioners

Off grid solar air conditioning systems are best suited for RVs, caravans and campervans that need to be mobile and able to move between locations. These are usually the largest and most powerful type of solar air conditioners that you can buy as they require more water heating capacity than a typical residential air conditioner.

There is a lot of research and development into improving the performance of solar air conditioning. This is because as global warming progresses, the need for energy efficient cooling will only increase. There are multiple ways that solar air conditioning can be achieved, including passive solar design, solar thermal energy and photovoltaic energy conversion (solar to electricity). A study [25] looked at using dish-shaped concentrating and flat photovoltaic solar collectors with an absorption chiller to provide both hot water and cooling for buildings in different European climatic regions. The resulting system was shown to be able to reduce energy consumption by up to 50% and to lower CO2 emissions by the same amount.

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