Over the last few decades, energy efficiency has become a major topic of debate across all industries. In the property markets, homebuyers and business owners now prioritize energy efficiency when constructing, remodeling, and maintaining their properties. While a lot of attention regarding electricity consumption focuses on lighting, it seems air conditioning is the next frontier in the efforts to reduce energy consumption.
Air conditioning is a prerequisite for most homes and other properties today. Most of the air conditioning systems in homes and businesses rely on electricity from the grid. With every home and business relying on the grid, suppliers have to burn more fossil fuels to meet the demand. This in turn increases to carbon gas emissions which are detrimental to the environment.
Luckily, solar air conditioning has come in handy to save the day. This post explores the growing adoption of solar ACs by both homes and businesses. At the frontline of this shift are solar panels which are critical components of solar energy air conditioners.
Demand for Electricity Set to Rise
Recent studies show that the number of AC units installed globally will rise from 1.6 billion to 5.6 billion by 2050. On an average hot day, a central AC unit will use around 3,500 W of electricity for a day. All these new units added to the grid will translate to a steep rise in the demand for electricity. It is a big drawback in the campaign to reduce reliance on fossil fuels and clean up planet earth.
Many environmentalists now posit that air conditioning is the world’s next biggest threat. The increase in population and changing weather patterns will see the demand for air conditioning rising over time.
While some countries have made impressive steps to cut back on fossil fuel exploration and exploitation, any rising national demand will see a reversal in such policies.
Solar Panels Powering a Revolution in Air Conditioning
A lot of research has gone into renewable energy over the years. So far, solar energy has emerged as the most reliable source of alternative energy. Many governments and tech companies have invested heavily in alternative energy and more focus is now on specific applications such as air conditioning.
By embracing solar energy powered air conditioning, homeowners and businesses can lead in the battle for a cleaner environment. Solar energy is the cleanest energy and as a homeowner, it offers immense cost savings in home maintenance. The solar powered AC unit is also easier to maintain, and the best installation companies also offer service plans or warranties on their products.
When talking about solar power, most consumers think of lighting because this is the most common application. However, advanced technology now makes solar-powered air conditioning a reality. Solar panels now power this growing application with a recent study projecting the solar air conditioning market to reach US$ 39.22 Billion by 2026.
Solar panels have a huge advantage as a source of power for air conditioning because they generate this power when it is most needed. On a hot day, the sun is always brightest and the panels will harvest a lot of energy, which then goes to cooling the indoor living space.
A conditioner is now one of the smartest additions to a modern home. Whether it is a new build or a renovation, you need to design and install the best solar panel system to power your AC.
There are different solar-powered AC units to choose from, including:
- Solar photovoltaic air conditioners: This system works like a typical split system but relies on energy provided by the sun. In case the solar energy is insufficient, electricity from the grid will charge the systems battery array. This solar air conditioner is a kind of hybrid system.
- Evaporative coolers: This is a solar powered air conditioner that operates through condensation and evaporation to cool and heat water. The system uses solar energy to power the motor and the fan.
Solar AC Unit and Improved Battery Storage
Another reason solar panels will play a great role in air conditioning is due to improved battery technology. Batteries have always been the weakest link in harnessing solar energy, but this is changing. A powerful solar AC unit requires an equally reliable battery for power storage. This would mean no energy generated goes to waste.
Battery prices have continued going down with increasing investment in innovative technology such as electric vehicles. It is expected that over the next decade, batteries more consumers will invest in solar batteries as they will be the most cost-competitive form of peaking generation.
Better still, batteries will surpass other energy sources, including gas and in dispatchable generation. As investment in battery technology continues, payback period for solar-powered batteries will reduce, and this is good news for consumers.
The outlook for solar energy is bright. This is good news for property owners who want to invest in solar air conditioning. Advances in technology will see improved efficiency in solar batteries which will reduce prices and lower the payback period. All these factors make solar-powered air conditioners more attractive. The role solar panels will continue playing in this revolution is hard to ignore.
Image Credits: Justin Lim