What are solar air-conditioners, their advantages, and disadvantages?

What are solar air-conditioners, their advantages, and disadvantages?

What are solar air-conditioners, their advantages, and disadvantages?

Available facts on Solar Air-conditioning Systems

There are some companies who are currently selling a Chinese brand of a solar air conditioner. One of the products is an air-conditioner which is completely grid independent. There is also a product which is more flexible and which is known as a solar hybrid air conditioner. There are many experts who are sharing the opinion that split units and solar is an excellent combination allowing consumers to have both cooling and heating units without compromising the environment because of a very small CO2 footprint.

Schematic of Grid 48V DC Inverter Solar Air Conditioner

Schematic of a 100% Off Grid 48V DC Inverter Solar Air Conditioner

Many conservationists are very satisfied with the products which are now been introduced into the market. The question which is on the minds of many consumers is whether they should stick with the currently available AC-only air-conditioners or whether they should invest in solar-centric units. The currently available DC-only version may not be the best solution because it will only function during the daytime. Its efficiency will also be influenced by cloud cover. It will still require batteries in order to function even when running only during the day. The only realistic application for this unit might be for a detached studio or home office. It will require a sizable investment in battery storage capability before this unit will be able to provide adequate service at nighttime.

What about the solar hybrid air conditioner?

Schematic Diagram of a Solar Hybrid Air-conditioner

Schematic Diagram of a Solar Hybrid Air-conditioner

This is a system that does not need any batteries in order to function. It can be plugged into any residential power source. This unit will only make use of grid-provided electricity when there is not sufficient sunlight to ensure effective operation. Just like its DC-only counterpart, it will require just over 880 W of power in order to ensure adequate cooling capabilities. One unit should be able to handle the cooling needs of approximately 750 ft². This will require a property which has been properly insulated. There can be no doubt that consumers who want to go green can invest in solar units and immediately start to save a lot of money. Some of these solar units will be able to utilize the maximum amount of solar power which may be available. That power will be supplied from the PV modules as long as the sun is shining and the system will not require any batteries. When the sun is not shining this highly efficient air conditioner will still keep consumers comfortable and continue to save money because they will still be using considerably less electricity than any normal air conditioner of equal capacity.

The issue of Net metering dependency

Net metering System

Net metering System

There has been a lot of problems with Net metering in many US states. Net metering benefits have been canceled in places such as Maine. There were also problems in the state of Florida were attempts to keep solar power out as not been entirely successful. Ironically statistics indicate that net metering has a positive impact on utility costs but unfortunately common sense often has to bow the knee before politics. Because of this needless hostility, there are many prospective solar buyers who might be looking at a bare-bones system which will be able to provide a reasonable return on investment without the need to have grid backup. Unfortunately, such a minimum system will still require batteries in order to ensure adequate operation. It is also important to understand that a DC only unit cannot adjust to fluctuations in solar power output which it requires to operate. It still has to have a battery backup in order to stabilize all of the incoming PV power. Learning about these facts will certainly be disappointing to many consumers. The reality is that additional batteries will require a sizable investment.

It’s important to understand these systems

One of the benefits of a DC-only version is that it will always remain operational even during a power failure. However, it is only with battery backup that the DC-only version will continue to operate when an area is affected by a power outage. Most other units will completely stop functioning when there are power interruptions. This is because of automatic safety features. The new versions do not have those kinds of problems. As far as the hybrid system is concerned, they have several advantages over conventional systems. Such a system does not require any batteries. This alone can convert to a saving of approximately $10,000. There is also no need for any additional inverter. It is entirely possible to wire a hybrid unit directly into an existing breaker panel. There will be no need for additional labor and installation.

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