Danish company AC-Sun has revealed new technology that turns solar heat into air conditioning with minimal power, thereby saving 90 per cent of energy.
The system consists of two separate circuits. In principle, the driving circuit is the same as on a power plant.
Heat creates steam that drives a turbine, but in this case the temperatures and pressure are lower; since the circuits operate under vacuum, steam is allowed to be generated at low temperatures.
The cooling circuit is a simple cooling process similar to that of a refrigerator, except here the media is water. To make water work as a refrigerant, the pressure is also very low in the cooling circuit.
The heart of AC-Sun’s technology is driven by highly efficient turbines. The turbines are powered by steam, generated either by thermal solar panels, district heating, waste heat from a large engine or waste heat from an industrial process. And to top it all, water is the only cooling media used in the system.
According to the FORCE Institute, the technology used by AC-Sun will save 86 per cent on CO2 emission compared to an average conventional air conditioning unit.
Claimed benefits of solar cooling technology:
•90 per cent of the energy used for cooling comes from ’free’ hot water, e.g. from a solar panel, from cooling water from machines, or from district heating water.
•Electrical power consumption is only 10 per cent of a conventional system.
•No chemical cooling media such as CFC, HCFC or others are used – only water.
•86% less CO2 emission compared to conventional technology.
•The surplus heat from the process, which is not re-utilised in the system, can be used for other purposes – e.g. heating of water for the household.
•The price of a system will only be marginally higher than the price of a conventional system.