Cooling and heating are the two most energy consuming activities in a home – 65 percent. A Queensland University of Technology (QUT) researcher in Australia has invented a solar powered cooling/heating system that should cut energy use by 90 percent, with the goal of becoming fully grid-independent.
The researcher’s name is Paolo Corrada and he is a PhD student at QUT. He said that “heating and cooling account for about 65 per cent of energy consumption in a house, whereas cooking accounts for only 6 per cent so it is easy to see why air conditioning devices are the main targets to reduce our energy consumption.”
Corrada’s solar powered air conditioning system uses an absorption chiller (a refrigerator running on heat) and is said to be even more efficient than traditional vapor compression-based refrigerators at rejecting heat. He said the device would be of great use mostly in subtropical areas, where electricity is scarce.
“The design is revolutionary because it incorporates also a desiccant wheel to remove moisture from the air and it uses the rejected heat from the absorption chiller to regenerate itself and to produce hot water for the house,” he said.
Other solar cooling systems on the market aren’t by far as efficient as Corrada’s. He says that his contraption is 40 percent better at doing the air conditioning than anything solar powered on the market nowadays, and is also silent because it only uses a small pump rather than a compressor.