New Solar Cooling partnership aims to save Australia big bucks

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?

Click here to read Parkinson’s article, in which CSIRO engineer Dan Rowe speaks about our solar cooling technology (covered previously on this blog), its potentials, and the new partnership.

One Comment on “New Solar Cooling partnership aims to save Australia big bucks”

  1. Graham says:

    I assume from Parkinson’s article that these are residential A/C units? I have been searching everywhere for solar cooling units but all the existing units are industrial units that would be priced out of reach for most home owners to install.

    We also need to change habits. Cooling habits should be part of an education program. This should cover passive cooling design so that houses are designed and built with breezeways and eaves and other passive cooling strategies and then we need to educate people on how to use these passive cooling techniques so that they don’t need to run A/C’s 24×7. You need to know when to open and close windows and doors and when to open and close curtains and blinds.

    We have gone through this last summer on the Gold Coast with very little use of our A/C by using the breezes in the mornings and evenings and fans at night. Our neighbours who would have the same breezes available to them seem to run their A/C 24×7 which just seems excessive to us. Admittedly the temperature inside often gets higher than the 20C you could get by running your A/C all the time, but that is also part of the education. We don’t need to live in 20C temps all the time. If the inside temp goes up to 25C or even a bit higher but there is a breeze going through the house it is quite liveable.

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