In summer, with hot sunlight pouring down, you want air conditioning. Why not use that sunlight to air condition your house, and let the system power itself?
If you don’t want to invest in a complete solar array, you can install a solar-powered AC unit. Read on to learn five facts about solar-powered air conditioning.
1. You Don’t Need to Panel Your Whole Roof
If you are installing solar power solely to power an air conditioner, you will need fewer panels than if you are installing a system for a whole house. To calculate how many panels you need, look up how many watts your solar ac would use, and how many watts your panels would produce. A solar ac unit that uses 900 watts would require three 300-watt solar panels.
2. You Can Attach a Solar Panel Directly to an Air Conditioning Unit
You can buy an air conditioning unit that runs on direct current (DC) electricity, instead of alternating current (AC), the type of electricity that powers the main electrical grid. Since a solar power panel produces DC electricity, you can use it to power your air conditioning unit directly without needing an expensive inverter to convert the electricity to AC.
3. Solar Air Conditioners Can Use Both Solar Power and Grid Power
Some hybrid solar air conditioners get power from both solar panels and other sources. For this system, the solar panels are installed and connected directly to the air conditioner, allowing the device to run mainly on solar power. However, the air conditioner can also draw power from the home electrical system, using AC power from the grid during cloudy weather or after dark.
This system doesn’t use an inverter, which can save money in installation, but also means that you can’t produce AC power, use it for other household devices with it, or feed AC power back into the grid for electricity credits.
4. Solar Panels Can Go Anywhere
Is your house in the shade? Are you planting trees to give your house some shelter from the sun? If your solar panels are on the roof, they won’t work as well in the shade because they need direct sunlight.
However, if you install solar panels elsewhere on your property, you can still produce solar energy and shade your roof with conventional methods, which some jurisdictions will provide a rebate on solar energy installations.
5. Solar Panels Cool Down the Roof
Not only can solar panels run an air conditioning system, but they can also help cool down your house on their own. One study showed that solar panels installed on a roof produced its own shade and reduced the amount of heat hitting the roof by 38%. A ceiling underneath a solar array was five degrees cooler than otherwise.
Learn More About Solar Powered Air Conditioning
A solar panel contractor can help you learn more about solar air conditioning systems and whether they are right for your needs. You can look for providers on Google Sunroof or EnergySage, or do an internet search for your area.
If you have enough sunlight in your area, solar-powered air conditioning might be exactly what you need. Use that sunshine to keep your house cool, but if this is not an option for you in your location, then read more on gas boiler installation options for your home.
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