SOLAR AIR CONDITIONERS

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Published: 14th December 2010
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A solar air conditioner is a cooling system functioning on solar power. It essentially absorbs energy from the sunís heat and light and coverts it into power so as to be able to drive the AC unit. Since air conditioners are mostly needed during hot months when sun is abundant, it presents the perfect opportunity to use a solar air conditioner.

Solar air conditioners function either through solar thermal energy or through photovoltaic conversion. The first uses heat collectors to collect heat, and warms water to drive absorption chillers; the second design converts photons into electricity to steer the AC fan.

ADVANTAGES OF SOLAR AIR CONDITIONERS

No matter what kind of solar AC it is, they are advantageous to use for a number of reasons. Like any other solar powered product, solar ACís are less noisy, less smelly, do not pollute, use an absolutely free energy resource and therefore lead to a decrease in the total electricity bill. The installation and maintenance of solar air conditioners is easier; spare parts can be found easily and cheaply. Cleaning a solar air conditioner is also less problematic. Moreover, installing a solar AC uses less space than a conventional AC since the actual cooling system has to be installed outside. Lastly, there is a cost recovery period of a solar air conditioner: for a solar thermal one, 2-5 years; for a PV one, 25-30 years.

SOLAR AIR CONDITIONER INDIA MARKET

In a country where the sun beats down incessantly for the majority of the year and power cuts remain a nagging nuisance, the Indian population would highly benefit from the usage of solar air conditioners. However, while solar ACs have been in the US since early 20th century, the solar air conditioners India market is in its nascent stage: it was only a couple of years ago that Reliance Industries first introduced the solar air conditioner in India. The solar air conditioner India cost of initial deployment is high; thus solar air conditioner India growth is inhibited. This is why solar air conditioning is yet to appear anywhere in the list of solar energy products installed currently in the country.

But the next decade could see significant change in the solar air conditioners India market, with the National Solar Mission up and running. Incentives are needed for households as well as corporates looking to grow green to realize the solar air conditioner India potential. Research is ongoing in the field as well not only to introduce mass production economies of scale to lower solar air conditioners India price, but also to commercially produce viable solar AC technology for cars.

A number of solar air conditioners India manufacturers do exist, though emphasis is on other more popular solar products such as water heaters and street lights, and many companies export their products. In a country where solar air conditioner manufacturers should thrive, there is much work to be done before solar ACs become a part of the Indian household.

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