Do solar powered air conditioners really work?

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  • 10 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    Some good answers there on Absorption chillers etc. Solar powered air conditioners are the air conditioners of the future. At present the power rating of the AC requires a big solar panel to give the necessary energy to run it. So in fact we cannot call it a solar powered one. But in future the same concept can be converted into a more efficient and compact unit where by the solar panel will be part of the AC and then we can call it a solar powered AC. I am confident the break through will come in the near future. Just think back how your desk top computer was once upon a time and then you can realize that this concept is not a fiction but going to be a reality.

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  • lc001
    Lv 4
    10 years ago

    Yes, they do.

    Part of the problems is knowing which solar air conditioners you are talking about.

    - Traditional air conditioners powered by solar panel electricity.

    - Solar convection cooling. Use solar heat to warm a chimney to make the air in it rise. The vacuum at the bottom draws air from a planned cooler source (basement or air path underground/underwater). You can then try to force this cool air to travel a long path to the chimney, cooling the space.

    - Solar absorption cooling - pretty complicated, but can operate without electricity ( http://eddiem.com/fact4/coolit/coolit.htm provides a decent explanation, but you need to understand some chemistry and physics first).

    - Solar evaporative cooling - a constantly rotating disk of salt which air is blown over one side to pull moisture from the air (cooling it), and the other side heated somehow to dry out the salt to repeat the cycle.

    Their effectiveness depends on the where (climate) it is used and size (the larger the better). Most of these you really can't do yourself. However, all are viable solutions and are used in varying forms.

    Good luck!

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  • John W
    Lv 7
    10 years ago

    Heat driven air conditioners were the first ones invented and how large campuses are cooled. They are called "absorption chillers" and are often based on lithium bromide water solutions. Evacuated tube solar thermal collectors can provide enough heat to run such airconditioners and even normal solar thermal collectors could serve as a preheat so that it doesn't take as much natural gas to run these airconditioners but the problem is that these absorption chillers work best on a large scale, typically 150 tons of AC and up. It's more common to see a 1,500 ton unit than a 150 ton unit. A house would only need 3 to 5 tons of AC and the solar thermal airconditioners out there are basically 30 ton units derated to 5 tons. These solar airconditioners still need some electricity to run the pumps and fans and often have natural gas to supplement the solar heat.

    The approach of running DC motors to drive the compressor from photovoltaic panels are becoming popular but of course photovoltaics are expensive.

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  • 4 years ago

    Yes there are solar air conditioners & attic fans. Just do your google search- many solar companies are selling it. Absorption chiller air conditioner units have been commercially used since the early 20 the century. These units use no harmful coolants such as Freon, etc. and some of these units actually operate without any moving parts. When engineered to operate on solar power, the absorption chiller air conditioning units provide the lowest operating costs and the best return on investment of any air conditioning system in the world.

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  • 10 years ago

    Sure , but we have a lot of fossil fuels and uranium to use up . I plan on using solar when Washington DC is powered totally by solar, especially the House and Senate areas and the Whitehouse.

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  • 3 years ago

    1

    Source(s): Homemade Solar Power Videos - http://Solar.eudko.com/?Tuo
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  • 10 years ago

    http://www.treehugger.com/files/2008/01/smallscale... This one is an absorbtion style, like propane powered camping fridges. Not a lot of capacity, but they do work.

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  • 10 years ago

    Seems like an oxymoron to me.

    Source(s): Living Green Doll
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  • 10 years ago

    Yes, they do,.

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  • 10 years ago

    it should be effective

    Source(s): i have a BrAiN!!!
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