Solar Air Conditioning
As the economy worsens all over the world, more individuals are looking for unique ways to save money and a solar air conditioner is a great opportunity to save money while reducing your carbon footprint.
Today thanks to solar air conditioning families and individuals are able to combine both eco-friendly practices and money saving techniques all while enjoying the same type of air conditioning that they may have had before. Whether you are looking for a commercial unit or you are looking for solar air conditioning for personal use, you will undoubtedly be able to reap the benefits of this energy efficient air conditioner. With Heating and air conditioning accounting for over half of your total utility bill solar air conditioning can pay for itself quickly.
Solar air conditioners work best when they’re needed most. As the summer sun blazes and temperatures soar a solar powered AC provides peace of mind knowing that same sun is working hard to cool your home or business.
Two Types of Solar Air Conditioners
- The most common solar air conditioners in use at the moment use a standard central air conditioning system combined with solar electric panels. These panels produce energy that is used to run your air conditioner. At night when the sun is down the AC unit runs off electricity from your electric company. These systems are called Grid-tied because they are attached to the national energy grid. An added bonus of a grid-tied system is any energy that is produced above the amount needed to run your AC can be used inside your house to run you’re other appliances. Homes with extra solar panels may produce more energy than they consume. In some areas electric companies will even pay you for the electricity your home sends to the grid.
- A newer type of solar air conditioner by ClimateWell called a Triple Absorption System uses solar panels to heat water; this hot water is then used to power a special type of heat pump that uses a salt evaporator cell inside of a vacuum to produce both hot and cold water. During the summer the cold water can be used to cool your house while the hot water can be used to heat a pool. This system can also be used during the winter to heat your home providing year round energy savings.
A 2012 study conducted is Sweden estimates an 85.7% lowering of cooling energy consumption using the Climatewell system over a conventional split system air conditioner. It also found the system lowered co2 emissions by 94.88% and reduced operating cost by 83.67%. All of these reductions are related to home cooling savings, but since this system can also be used in the winter to heat the home savings would be greater. Even with savings this great the cost of this system may be out of reach for many homeowners at this time.
Note: Climatewells design is based a cooling system called a liquid absorption chiller and I’m not sure how feasible this system is for home cooling at this time, but there does seem to be industrial applications. Anyone interested in reading further can check out http://www.wseas.us/e-library/transactions/heat/2009/29-511.pdf
For a though comparison of a traditional split system air conditioner and Climatewell’s Triple Absorption System go to http://franciscosantamaria.com/Energyengineering/Thesisfranciscoandelena.pdf .
As previously stated, a solar air conditioner is an extremely environmentally-friendly product. With the use of these air conditioners you will not be pumping carbon dioxide into the air which will help to preserve the Earth’s ozone layer.
Tax Credits and Rebates
The cost of a solar air conditioning system can be substantially higher than a traditional system but this cost can be offset by local utility credits or rebates and federal tax credits. Currently the U.S. government is offering the Solar Tax Credit 25D through 2016.
In addition to federal tax credits you should check with your state to see if they offer any solar incentives. You should also check with your local power companies to see if they offer any utility credits or rebates.