Solar coolers and air conditioners
In the late 19th century, when the scientists realized that the fossil fuels will be exhausted in future and to meet the energy requirement of the humanity they have to harness renewable energy resources. They conceived the idea of harnessing solar energy and devised many solar energy driven appliances. And the core premise of using solar energy was to generate heating effect.
We have been using solar energy devices for producing heat and electricity for the long haul. There are plethora of solar devices and appliances like solar cooker, solar water heaters, and solar cells and solar inverters.
Scientist has now come up with an out of the box idea of using solar energy to produce cooling effect. We are on the verge of witnessing the era of solar water coolers and Air conditioners.
Solar water coolers, If integrated with conventional air conditioners, it can help saving electricity up to 21 %.
Solar water coolers are panels that sit atop a roof of a building.
They are made of three components:
- A Plastic layer, which can cool everything it touches up to 10 degree Celsius.
- On top of plastic layer, a silver coating
- A snaking copper tube underneath plastic layer
Let’s explain the mechanism of solar water coolers and see how it works. The silver coating reflects nearly all the incoming sunlight, thus keeps the panels cool in the summer sun.
Water or fluid (refrigerant in case of an air-conditioning unit) is piped through the snaking copper tube, where it dumps the heat to the plastic layer.
The plastic layer then radiates the heat absorbed from circulating water or refrigerant in the snaking tube.
The heat is radiated at a specific wavelength of the Infrared spectrum and is not absorbed by the atmosphere; instead it travels all the way to outer space.
The solar cooling unit is encased in a thermally insulating plastic housing and ensures that all the heat absorbed from the circulating water or refrigerant is radiated away to outer space. Such Solar water cooling units can cool the water or refrigerant to 5 degree Celsius below the ambient temperature.