It seems that with each year that goes by, the summers are getting hotter and the winters are getting colder. According to the National Climate Data Center, 7 out of 8 hottest years recorded were since 2001. Our planet's temperature is increasing rapidly due to the CO2 emission being set free when we are burning fossil fuels for our energy needs. When it comes to our home cooling system, it is a vicious circle: As our planet is turning up the heat, we are turning up the AC and this leads to more energy consumption, more burned fossil fuels and more CO2 emission discharge which eventually causes more heat, starting the process start over again.
The simplest way to solve or at least mitigate this problem is to find other energy resources that are eco-friendly. Summer, with its hot sun and clear skies, provides the perfect time to take advantage of solar energy. Today modern technology and innovative developments allow us to appreciate the sun not only for the hot beach days but for indirectly cooling our homes as well. Solar Air conditioning is a great way to take advantage of the sun in the time of the year when it is at its hottest.
What is Solar Air Conditioning:
Any type of cooling system that uses solar power to give cooling is considered solar air conditioning. Solar Air condition can lead to off-grid capabilities and is more eco-friendly than traditional cooling systems. Using solar energy to keep your home cool will also cut your electricity bills.
How does Solar Air Conditioning work?
Thermal panels absorb and collect solar energy and then send this power to the solar air conditioner. The air conditioner receives this collected energy through a specific piping system which is known as the Propylene Glycol transfer method. Solar air conditioning can be used to cool down your home in the summer and even as a heating system in the winter.
To run a solar air conditioner is not expensive as it uses little or no electricity and there is very little maintenance cost involved. Either small pumps, the fan or the controlling method which makes up parts of the air conditioning system are in some cases the only parts that use electricity.
Two types of Solar Air Conditioning can be taken into consideration:
Hybrids Solar AC
This system works through combining solar cells (PV) and direct current. A thermal collector, made from the copper heat conducting coils, absorbs the thermal energy from the sun and stores this energy. The energy in the collector operates the refrigeration cycle, turning energy into refrigerant liquid in a condenser when needed, this liquid provides cool air.
You can either plug-in the AC or use it with a battery. The thermal solar panels still work in the shade or at night as it is able to run in on the surrounding air temperature which can be between -5 and 50 degrees. The solar panels of the Hybrids systems do not have to go on the roof, it will do perfectly good on the wall next to the unit itself. Many solar hybrid air conditioners are similar to traditional AC in appearance and at the same time compact and easy to install.
Solar absorption chillers
Chillers have collectors that gather the sun's thermal energy. This solar energy gets moved by a glycol H2o solution through pipes, pumps and controllers. Through an evaporation and condensation process these chillers are able to heat and cool water which is needed to cool the air. The fan and motor that runs on solar energy, blow the air over a water saturated material that allows for the cooling effect. When installing a chiller your electricity bill will lower, but it can increase the water consumption a bit. For chillers to work, they need to be connected to a water line. Absorption chillers are seen to be very energy-efficient, durable and easy to keep up.
Solar energy air conditioning is still seen as very expensive to buy and set up, but they can save you a lot of money on the electricity bills, however. For business, air conditioning systems are one of the highest expenses during a year and this makes solar air conditioning very appealing to businesses worldwide. With the focus on the green movement, zero-energy buildings have become the goal for many businesses. Hopefully, an increase of solar air conditioning use and improved technology will make solar air conditioning a more affordable option to homes as well.