New Solar Cooling partnership aims to save Australia big bucksPosted: Thursday, 19th April, 2012
Can CSIRO’s ‘solar air-conditioning’ technology save Australia big bucks in electricity network upgrades? This is a question that’s being investigated by a new Solar Cooling partnership of which CSIRO is a member. Giles Parkinson has written about the project and its motivations recently on the RenewEconomy website:
The biggest strain on our electricity networks right now – and the cause for at least one third of the $45 billion network upgrades, and at least half of the recently announced tariff increases – are the “super” peak demand periods triggered when everyone returns home from work and flicks on their air conditioning.
In some states this might only occur for a few hours a year, more in others, but network operators have been at a loss to address the issue, apart from building more capacity. Other solutions have been offered – demand management being one of them – but what if the network operators could turn to solar-powered air conditioners as the solution to reduce peak load?