Solar Powered Air Conditioner:
Using air-conditioning to cool your home is probably the worst energy guzzling appliance. To put this in perspective an energy efficient air-conditioner will use around 2 kW (kW = kilowatt or 1000 watts) per hour which means if you run your air-con for around 5 hours when you get home from work, you’ll use 10 kW. Most energy efficient homes will use less than 7 kW for the whole home in 24 hours.
So is there such a thing as solar powered air-conditioning?
Not really, yet…, solar panels can contribute towards running your air-conditioning but not directly run the whole air-conditioning system due to the large wattage required. You would need your whole roof covered to provide enough power!
What are some greener ways to cool your home?
– If possible plant deciduous trees (trees that drop their leaves in winter) so that you shade your home from the hot summer sun, this probably won’t work if you have a double storey home.
– Insulate your roof / loft well, to keep the heat out in the first place.
– Use a HRV (Heat Recovery Ventilation) system which cools your home at night when the temperature is less in the roof space or loft than the outside and…. it heats your home during the cooler part of the year!
– Use a roof vent to assist or instead of the HRV system, these work by drawing the hot air out of your attic or roof space. The solar attic fan pictured here is from a company called Attic Breeze.
– If you live in a dry region you could use Evaporative Cooling instead, this uses 90% less energy than conventional reverse cycle air-conditioning, the only issue with this option is that evaporative coolers use a fair amount of water, around 7 gallons (26 litres) per hour.
If you have any tips on a solar powered air conditioner of your own, or any questions about solar air conditioning please Contact Usorwould you like to add a green living article about some aspect of green living you are passionate about.
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