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"A society built on green design, sustainable energy and closed loop systems, a civilization afloat on a cloud of efficient, non-toxic, recyclable technology." ~~Alex Nikolai Steffan

5.09.2009

SOLAR POWERED AIR CONDITIONING?

A Florida installer, Ed Taylor owner of American Solar Energy is putting the first solar powered air conditioning unit on a home in Lakeland.

The unit, produced by Sedna Aire and manufactured in Malaysia, uses a solar absorption system for its cooling. It incorporates solar collectors into the energy production, but still uses electricity to operate, and claims to use 50% less electricity than conventional air conditioners.

The 'environmentally friendly'
coolant (refrigerant) is superheated by the sun which means the compressor doesn't have to do anything but pump, so the unit saves electricity (this is not freon, but R407C--peruse this engineer's guide for more than you probably ever wanted to know about the application of R407C).

When one thinks about the way that air conditioners work, they concept isn't all that efficient: compressing the freon from a cool, low-pressure gas to a hot high-pressure gas that then flows through the condenser to become cooled liquid that absorbs the heat from the building, that then changes back to gas to repeat the cycle. . .

Under this solar concept, the hotter it gets outside, the more efficient the unit would be, while conventional units, the hotter it gets, the harder the unit has to work. The solar concept may go back to the 1970's when a gas-fired unit was manufactured by Crosley (don't know if this is related to the Crosley manufacturer of automobiles).

The solar assisted unit costs about twice the conventional air conditioner, but in hot climates like Florida, they could pay for the difference through utility bill cost savings.


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