Using the sun’s heat to keep us cool

Did you know it’s possible to use the sun’s heat on your rooftop to air-condition your house – without using electricity?

Using heat to make things colder sounds counter-intuitive, but this is exactly what CSIRO’s Solar Cooling technology can do. Researchers here at the Energy Technology Centre have developed a unit that collects solar thermal energy from rooftop panels on a house, and then uses it to produce a cool stream of air via evaporation.

Journalist Giles Parkinson has written an article about this project for the Climate Spectator following his recent visit to our Newcastle site. In ‘A chilling future for solar power’ he describes the Solar Cooling project, and explains the benefits of a technology that could reduce our reliance on grid-based electricity for keeping cool on scorching summer days.

If you’re interested in more information about CSIRO’s Solar Cooling project, please visit the project website. You can also learn more about the technology at the Australian Solar Cooling Interest Group’s website at

This cooling coil is part of CSIRO's Climate Control Test Facility, where it is used to test solar cooling components.

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