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Solar Powered Commercial HVAC?

Air quality management is one of the most costly components in the process of  trying to efficiently operate any kind of building…large or small…commercial or residential.  Of course, the bigger the building…the more dollars are at stake.  But in all scenarios, maintaining control over target temperature and humidity levels for the comfort of building occupants…is the ultimate goal.

Since the building’s HVAC system’s purpose is to perform air quality management…and power consumption is usually the largest cost involved, using cheaper and more efficient power sources makes everyone happier.  Not forgetting the critical components of effective insulation and humidity control….the use of Solar power in HVAC solutions can be a giant leap in gaining those operating cost efficiencies.  Here’s a quick look at two of the most common types of solar technologies as applied to HVAC systems.

Supplementing HVAC System with Solar Electric Power

The basic concept is to replace or supplement a portion of the electricity used by the compressor…with electric power from solar panels instead of power from the local utility company.  If you believe that electricity rates from your local power company (which generates that power primarily from fossil fuels and/or nuclear sources) will only continue to rise, this becomes especially appealing.

One company offering solar-electric assisted HVAC solutions is Lennox Systems. They  tie the solar panels into the grid so that when the HVAC system is not using power, it can be used to supplement other parts of your home or business’ electrical needs.

Solar A/C with super-heated refrigerant

This alternative technology (created 2010) actually diverts the HVAC system’s refrigerant to an evacuated-tube solar thermal collector on the roof.  Since it’s the compressor’s job to heat and compress the system refrigerant…it’s workload drops significantly…and that saves you money.  Sedna Aire is an industry leader that makes this technology.  Their claim is that one of their systems can save from 40% to 60% of your A/C bill!  And interestingly enough, at the height of the Summer’s afternoon heat (when most A/C’s work the hardest), Sedna Aire’s system operates most efficiently!

Below is another solar powered air conditioning system from Coolerado that uses only 600 watts of solar power for a 6 ton system. Check out the video!


To discover if a solar A/C system is a good fit for your application, just call us!

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1 Comment

  1. I think that solar powered air conditioning would be a really cool thing to have It would make the energy costs of a big building really low. I think that it could easily pay for itself that way, and then eventually start making you a bit of money!