There’s a new interesting option for individuals to look for a new cooling system. Green Builders has an excellent article going in detail about these units, and here are our take ways.
What are my options?
These units use solar energy to provide a portion of the operating power. There are two main options.
While several companies offer these solar powered units, the article focuses on the options available from Greenpath technologies.
- The first is a hybrid unit which splits the power used to operate between solar energy and traditional electricity.
- The second option is a split between a batter and solar energy.
For units that are completely grid independent, the cost to run the unit is essentially limited to purchase price and maintenance (including batteries). That can equate to major savings for people living hot climates with lots of sunlight.
It is also a great option for the environmentally focused users, giving them an option that doesn’t contribute to emissions but still provides relief from the heat.
For the Hybrid option, it can a simple way to cut down on energy consumption and long term costs. It also ensures that even in unfavorable weather you will still have cooling, as no battery is required and it can function as a standard unit without solar power.
This option might be the best in terms of flexibility and consistency.
One of the more blatant cons of a solar powered AC system revolves around it not working unless there is direct sunlight. Also, the grid independent requires expensive batteries to function. For these the cooling system shuts down at night and if cloud cover interferes.
This might not be an issue for milder climates where cooling is needed only during the hottest times and days, but a strictly solar powered unit might not provide enough relief in the hottest climates.
Consider a hybrid unit in this case.
More to come
These units have plenty of room to mature in terms of development, but Its fantastic that these are available to consumers. As they gain popularity, the R&D put into these units should result in some big advances.
If you have any experience or concerns with these products, I would love to hear from you!
Power, M. (n.d.). Pros and Cons of Solar-Powered Air Conditioners. Retrieved from https://www.greenbuildermedia.com/energy-solutions/pros-and-cons-of-solar-powered-air-conditioners