The Solar Thermal system uses a globally patented technology to drive the refrigerant in the system using solar thermal power rather than electricity.
With a Heat Exchange panel that looks similar to the evacuated tubes on a solar geyser connected to the condenser unit, the panel increases the temperature and velocity of the refrigerant as it exits the compressor and this is where the efficiency in this design comes into play.
By using the power of the sun to drive the refrigerant rather than electricity the energy efficiency of the air conditioner improves dramatically.
The diagram shows how this system works.
Test results show that this makes the Solar Thermal system around 60% more efficient than a standard air conditioner.
Advantages of the Solar Thermal Solar Air Conditioner.
Compared with the Hybrid system, the Solar Thermal units offer more advantages.
Firstly, the cost. Due to the incredibly efficient technology involved in the transfer of energy , this system can run MULTIPLE air conditioners of a single heat exchanger and condenser.
In fact, this system can operate up to 5 or 6 12000 BTU air conditioners from a single panel and condenser.
Plus, as it works on heat from the sun, the HOTTER it gets , the less energy it uses!
This is very useful for buildings or houses that have multiple units consuming huge amounts of power especially in the peak heat of summer.
Effectively, a multi-split system with 4 air conditioners would use the same amount of energy as a single standard air conditioner.
It can heat and cool. While the main use on this system is for cooling it can be used for heating on those chilly winter days and operates with the same efficiency as for cooling.
Another big plus is the cost.
Because this system doesn’t need individual power to each unit, the cost relative to a solar hybrid system is much lower.
In comparison, to supply and install 4 X 12000 BTU Air Conditioners on a solar Hybrid system would cost around R170 000.
The same system in solar thermal would be about HALF that price.
Another plus is that if the main supply is PV, the overall power usage of this system is so low that it could be run from a PV system with little impact on adding capacity to cover the power requirements.
Also, because this system is available locally, there is no delay in supply.
Drawbacks of a solar thermal solar air conditioning system.
It requires AC Power to operate so in situations where there is no grid power support, this could be a problem, but with it’s exceptionally low power consumption and scalability, it would require relatively little additional PV capacity.
It does require a specialised installation. Due to the nature of the connections and technology, the Solar Thermal Solar Air Conditioner does require installation by a a specialist.
The Solar Thermal systems are available from Solaeris.