Solar Ready Central Air Conditioning
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Solar Ready Central Air Conditioning

Solar power used to reduce cost of central air conditioning

As solar powered devices continue to permeate every day living, the prospect of using the heat of the sun to power an air conditioning unit almost seems contradictory. However, solar ready central air conditioning is not that far off track and is even possible if the right steps are taken.

To begin, you will need to thoroughly examine your home and conduct an energy efficiency survey to determine how well your house can hold in the cool air conditioned air while refusing entry to the hot air from outside. You will also need to make sure your air conditioning unit is the most efficient on the market as well as the right size for your home.

Consider the home’s insulation as well as how well the doors and windows are sealed. You may need to make improvements on weatherproofing your home before calculating the needs and costs of upgrading or switching to solar ready central air conditioning. Power consumption of a solar ready central air conditioning also needs to be addressed.

Just for example, consider a 220-volt air conditioning unit, rated at about eight amps will use just under two kilowatts of power per hour. If it runs an average of 12 hours a day, it will consume about 21 kilowatt hours of power each day. Different manufacturers produce different sized solar panels that generate differing amount of power, so the number of panels needed to generate 21 kilowatt hours of power can vary among manufacturers.

Next, remember how solar systems actually work. Solar panels convert the sun’s energy into direct current electricity, which can then be stored in batteries, like the ones in your car, only more of them. In order to use that power in a solar ready central air conditioning unit, it has to be converted into usable alternating current. You will also need to calculate the power being developed by the solar panels you install and whether they will produce the needed power to run the air conditioning unit to determine if it is enough to offset the cost of energy efficient improvements you may need to make.

Many companies are marketing solar ready central air conditioning units when they may only be selling you several solar panels, connected to your electric line that helps reduce the cost of electricity. Of course they are going to include an air conditioning unit, but unless you are aware of the cooling needs of your home you may not be receiving the most efficient unit for your needs.

Absorption-based cooling systems have been in use for many years and an example of them are likely in your car, if it is equipped with air conditioning. Another example would be in refrigerators in areas where electricity is not available. Refrigerators are often powered by propane gas to provide refrigeration.

Absorption-based solar ready central air conditioning units are available in limited sizes currently with more becoming available as the industry addresses the environmental concerns to reduce the need for fossil fuel. This type of system is showing promise to be more cost efficient than a strict reliance on solar panels.


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