Solar Assisted Air Conditioners


With the spring and summer soon approaching, it may be a good idea to invest in a new air conditioning system for your home. Every year, there is an increased demand for better cooling systems, but with this demand, comes increased electrical costs, and environmental dangers.

In reaction to this, this demand has also expanded for more energy efficient systems that are also more environmentally safe. A solution to this demand, is the Solar-Assisted air conditioning system, but what is it? What are the pros and cons, of such a system?


What is Solar-Assisted Air Conditioning?


Solar-Assisted air conditioning is a system that uses energy from the sun to power the unit. There are two primary means of achieving this; supplying energy to an AC unit, via traditional Solar panels, or by absorbing the energy to power a thermally driven chiller.


Devices such as Lennox’s SunSource energy systems, provide power to an air conditioning unit, feeding the remaining electricity to the home, or into the power lines, supplying the energy company. Not only does this mean that the air conditioner will no longer be a hassle in terms of electricity costs, but it will also reduce your energy bill, and earn you credit from the electrical company.


The thermally driven chiller system works by either cooling the air directly, through a ventilation system, or by chilling the water, which can then be used in common air conditioning systems. The actual systems themselves are much more complicated but are derived from the methods mentioned. These methods are what allow this type of air conditioning the means of efficient power consumption, and/or environmental safety.


The Pros of the Solar-Assisted Air Conditioning System


What are the benefits of a Solar-assisted A/C system? A more obvious benefit is the energy efficiency of these systems. Since it is drawing most of its energy from the sun, it is not receiving any energy from the main power lines. Moreover, this allows for such systems, like the SunSource, to eventually pay for themselves, by reducing operating costs, saving you money through reduced electrical bills, rebates, and tax reductions. Systems like these also increase the value of your home, because of the savings the next homeowner will get from the system.


Solar-assisted A/C systems are great for the environment because they draw less from electricity from the main grid. Less energy demand means that electrical companies running oil or coal-based facilities, will have to supply less, and therefore, use less natural resources in the process. Additionally, the less they need to supply, the less CO2 emissions they will produce. Companies like Bob Heimiller, a Central Florida solar company, recoommend investing in this type of system.


The Cons of a Solar-Assisted Air Conditioning System


Solar equipment can be expensive, and having enough solar panels, or thermal collectors for an air conditioning unit can add to the cost as well. Additionally, special hardware is needed for systems that run on both solar powered, and thermally-powered systems. This is because they either need to be able to draw the right amount of power from the solar cell, or need special equipment, such as the thermally-powered chillers, that aren’t available in traditional air conditioners. However, due to reduced daily costs of energy consumption, the rebates, incentives, and tax returns, a system like this can help pay for itself over time.