Coolerado Coolers: Getting Close to Solar Powered Air Conditioning
We are intrigued by the idea of solar powered air conditioning; it is just so logical as you need it most when the sun is blazing. Right now the heavy-handed approach is to spend a lot of money on photovoltaics to run conventional units; there has to be a lower cost, more efficient way.
The approach of warm weather (and a nudge by LEED Pro) has reminded us of Coolerado Coolers, a low energy air conditioning unit that delivers up to 5 tons of cooling while drawing only 1200 watts, a power load that can easily be handled by a solar installation. It is an evaporative cooler like the desert coolers we have shown before, but unlike most desert coolers, the cool moist air is put through an air-to-air heat exchanger so that the air supplied to the space is cool and dry, which is far more effective at keeping you cool.
Unfortunately the performance of evaporative coolers drops with humidity, so they work best in arit and semi-arid parts of the country but that includes much of the southwest, where there has been so much development that depends on air conditioning.
Coolerado has built a solar powered one ton unit that draws only 36 watts for an earthquake monitoring station; they are also now selling their heat exchanger cores so that others can build their own units. The commercial solar powered air conditioner is just around the corner. ::Coolerado