Is Solar Air Conditioning Available in 2020?

Solar AC is now a very viable option in place of traditional units. Solar air conditioning comes in a variety of forms, is sustainable and is rapidly becoming cheaper.

Solar (photo credit: INGIMAGE)
Solar
(photo credit: INGIMAGE)

The Future is Now!

As many more people turn towards alternative energy solutions for their homes, the idea of solar-powered air conditioners has become more popular. Is such technology available in 2020? Yes! Solar AC is now a very viable option in place of traditional units. Solar air conditioning comes in a variety of forms, is sustainable and is rapidly becoming cheaper. Solar panels work by collecting sunlight in their cells. This solar energy is then converted into the electricity that runs the fan. Any excess energy that is created is stored in a battery, providing the added benefit of powering the AC unit even after the sun has set. Because it is powered by the sun, this type of air conditioner costs next to nothing to operate and is thus a great long-term investment. Companies are increasingly moving toward zero-energy buildings powered by sustainable green energy. These off the grid structures would not have to be connected to utility companies at all, and annual energy bills would be much lower.
 

Location, Location, Location

In order to determine the correct size AC unit that you need, a contractor or sales agent will provide a load calculation based off of your home's measurements and location. Weather and sunlight hours are an important factor here, because a home in sunny Phoenix down south is going to generate more power than a home in rainy Seattle up north. Pick HVAC includes a handy chart demonstrating the effectiveness of solar power in different regions of the United States. The solar industry has created a measurement system known as the Solar Production Ratio, which helps determine how much electricity the panels will generate in peak conditions. Solar AC units come in three different types: DC powered, AC powered, and hybrid. Each type has their own advantages and disadvantages.
 

AC/DC

DC conditioners offer easier DIY installation, saving you money. They do not need to be connected to an electrical grid, so location is essentially irrelevant. Their systems are also easier to maintain, however they require batteries, an inverter and solar charge controller in order to work at night, increasing the price. A vacuum pump is also typically required to charge the unit if necessary. AC conditioners offer a lower overall equipment cost when compared to DC systems, and because they are on the grid, they can also provide lights, appliances and other household items with electrical power. Another exciting prospect is being able to give excess electricity that is generated back to the grid and receive payment or credit for this. There's also the fact that during the night, the AC unit can still be powered using the grid. A disadvantage, however, is that this type of AC unit will not work if you are living off the grid. Hybrid solar air conditioners are popular because they combine DC and AC power, are easy to install and also offer extra options like remote control and heating.