Solar Powered Air Conditioning

Solar powered air conditioning
Cool the air with solar heat.

Here is one of the parts of an answer to the question how to make my whole house solar powered. We will introduce to you the air conditioning unit sized to cool the space of a large room--can be run on solar panels, from a wall socket or, in a pinch, batteries.

Regardless of the power source, the system will lower electricity costs substantially.

Actually, if these units get used in a widespread manner, they could also reduce the odds of summer power outages, often caused because homes and buildings crank up their air conditioners. The unit operates at a maximum of 500 watts, far less than half what ordinary air conditioning units expend.

Air conditioning takes the biggest load on the power grid because the need for cooling is highest during the day.

Obviously trying to use small PV (photovoltaic solar) cells and equip them with 18,000 BTUs (a unit of energy) of air conditioning will reduce your bills. The system includes batteries that can run the unit for either 12 or 24 hours depending on the battery size. So if there's a blackout or if there's no sun, you can run it off of the batteries.

Sam Little, the president of renewable energy installer EcoVantage Energy in Weatherford, Texas, has tested the previous versions of the solar air conditioning. He said that at 18,000 BTUs, the devices are not large enough to cool a very large house, but work well for a couple of rooms or to supplement another system.

He estimated the previous version used one-fourth the electricity of other air conditioning units. This type of air conditioning is very popular although it is quite expensive. Some times price for installation of such a device can reach $20,000.

Here's how it works

  • Photons in sunlight hit the solar panel and are absorbed by silicon (a semi-conducting material)
  • Negatively charged electrons are knocked loose from their atoms, allowing them to flow through the material to produce electricity.
  • The direct current (DC) electricity enters an inverter.
  • The inverter turns DC electricity into 240-volt AC (alternating current) electricity needed for air conditioning
  • The AC power enters the utility panel and is distributed to the air conditioning system.
  • When the air conditioning is not being used the electricity can be diverted to power other facilities or flow into the national grid.
  • The diagram of the solar power system is showing how it works.

    Solar Powered Air Conditioning.

    So what's next?

    Solar powered air conditioning can not only benefit the end-user economically, since the amount of electricity required from the grid is reduced, but its environmental benefits are clear also. It is a significant addition to the overall air conditioning industry drive for high levels of unit and system efficiency, and solar power should be adopted universally, as soon as possible.

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