Solar powered air conditioning

Solar powered air conditioning

solar powered air conditioning
  Aug 20, 2013

For a long time I saw solar powered air conditioning as unfeasible, because we were living in the bush with a modest solar array, and only batteries to store our electricity.

With the arrival of summer, I noticed that our batteries were reporting they were full by 11:00 am. I am not connected to the grid and so I cannot sell excess electricity back to a power company. My excess energy had nowhere to go and I occoured to me to use it for cooling rather than just being lost. I researched small air conditioners and we settled on a portable, capable of cooling 30 square meters. This is slightly larger than the area of our living container.

On very hot days, we run the air conditioner from late morning when the batteries show "full". We switch it off, just as the sun drops behind the trees, putting the panels into shade. At this point the batteries are still showing "full", and all the energy of the afternoon sun has been turned into cooling. Realistically we only use the air conditioner for about a dozen days of the summer. However it is a god send on those days.

Our airconditioner cannot run on batteries alone, as it will deplete them in 30 minutes. We have a modern portable conditioner, and it has a water connection. This added water supply means it is more efficient, and produces a better cooling than those without. This took very little effort to install.

E-Book 1 covers the details of the selection and installation in a lot more detail. It is well worth reading if you are interested in a truly solar powered air conditioner. I have included a link to my YouTube video that documents the installation below.


shipping container house log burning safe

The solar array is capable of generating 2000 watts of power, or 2KW, from eight 250W panels.

I found that although I have the ability to modify the angle of the panels for a summer or winter setting, it is not required. I have configured for winter, when I need the most electricity, and in summer I am unable to use the excess unless I switch on the air conditioner.

You can see the construction of this project in the video on YouTube: