May 8, 2017 How Solar Air Conditioning Works Considering solar air conditioning for your home? There are a few things to know before you decide which air conditioning system is best for you. Whichever system you choose, you can rest assured that solar air conditioning is one of the most energy-efficient ways to cool your home. Unlike electric air conditioning methods, which generally consume more energy than trying to heat your home, solar utilizes natural resources that are both free and renewable. Solar power allows you to harness energy from the sun and use it to power your heating or cooling systems through various solar energy generation and maintenance methods. There are several ways to cool your home using solar power. Below are some of the most popular methods and how each of them works: Photovoltaic Photovoltaic or PV/T collectors are used to gather radiation from the sun and turn that radiation into renewable energy in the form of thermal energy and electricity. The electricity generated from photovoltaic collectors is used to power home cooling equipment. This is one of the most popular solar cooling methods, as it integrates with a large variety of home cooling systems. Solar Thermal Energy The U.S. Energy Information Administration defines solar thermal power generation as systems that “collect and concentrate sunlight to produce the high-temperature heat needed to generate electricity.” It is like photovoltaic in that it uses the sun to generate electricity, but the methods are slightly different. Instead of directly converting solar energy into electricity, it funnels the light from the sun to generate heat, which in turn can power a heat engine that creates electricity. Passive Solar Energy.gov explains passive solar by stating “a passive solar home collects heat as the sun shines through south-facing windows and retains it in materials that store heat, known as thermal mass.” The difference between passive solar and the other methods listed above is that passive solar cooling focuses on energy efficient home design and draws from the solar thermal roof as a secondary measure rather than relying on the roof panels for all energy sources. What are the Benefits of Solar Air Conditioning? Below are just two of the many reasons why you should consider this option. Solar Energy Can Help Your Entire Home Comprehensive solar systems are not just for cooling. The energy generated from these methods can be used to power your entire home. Solar energy can be a complete energy solution, allowing you to also provide heat to various areas throughout the home, as well as additional energy to power all of your appliances and electronics. Excess Energy Can Be Sold Solar energy is a free and renewable source of home energy that can power all your internal home systems, appliances, and electronics. Excess energy created by your home’s system can be sold to local energy companies for a profit. Therefore, solar energy essentially pays for the initial investment cost over time in savings and through energy sales. How Do You Get Started with Solar? There is an initial investment cost for solar energy. Regardless of the method you choose, you will likely be investing up front to take advantage of what solar has to offer. However, as discussed above, the benefits far outweigh the cost as you will continue to profit off your solar energy for years to come. Interested in how you can introduce an air conditioning system powered by solar energy in your home? Give us a call today to learn more.