Solar Air Conditioning
One interesting development for hot climates is worth looking at. It seems even in the UK, summers are getting hotter, and we are experiencing more sunshine hours. In tropical or equatorial climates, there is little relief from the heat and as the mercury rises, the energy is sapped from individuals trying to work and live.
Air Conditioning in these climates is not so much a luxury, it is essential to well being and to productivity. Nowadays, a large number of offices, hotels, public buildings, and hospitals are fitted with centralised air conditioning systems.
Naturally enough, the sheer scale of the energy used in climates of this type is extreme and in one way, the energy consumption is contributing to attacking nature. The very intense Sun that refuge is being sought from is a massive source of energy. It is a free energy source; it can light homes and run a few electrical appliances. It comes free of charge and for now, solar energy we can safely assume is unlimited.
But can solar energy cool buildings? The answer is Yes.
Solar air conditioning is a revolutionary and upcoming technology in hot climates and may provide the ultimate energy efficient solution. Solar air conditioning refers to any air conditioning system that uses solar power.
The Advantages of Solar Air Conditioning
In comparison to conventional, electrically driven compression cooling technology, solar cooling has a number of advantages. These systems are most useful when the sun shines the strongest – in summer. The machines utilise environmentally friendly refrigerants, leading to lower green house gas emissions. In most cases water is utilised which, compared to refrigerants used in compression cooling machines, has no greenhouse potential. Significant power savings can result from the fact that these systems just require auxiliary energy for the operation of pumps. In addition to cooling, the solar collector system can also provide thermal energy for domestic hot water preparation and heating support, which leads to a further reduction of emissions. Solar Air Conditioning is also ideal for hotels, supermarkets, schools, factories, and large office premises etc. Furthermore, noise emissions are significantly lower since the machines work without compressors.
Solar-based Air Conditioning can offer a reasonable alternative to conventional air conditioning. At present, the capital investments are too high for the domestic market place but in due course, the manufacturing costs may drastically reduce in cost to bring solar powered air conditioning into domestic homes.
The most common practice is where solar collectors are used to convert solar radiation to heat that is then fed into thermally driven cooling processes or into a direct air-conditioning process. In parts of the world, there are areas of population that are not connected up to the national grid. In these cases for special applications such as keeping medicine cool in a remote area, a photovoltaic generator transforms solar radiation into solar power to drive a refrigeration process normally in the form of a compression chiller.