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Cool yourself in the Sun Rays!
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Written by Daniel   
Tuesday, 20 March 2007 08:46

Using solar energy to keep homes cool
By Martin LaMonica
Staff Writer, CNET News.com
Published: March 20, 2007, 4:00 AM PDT
 

SolCool One has developed what many people would expect to already be commonplace: An air conditioner that runs off the sun.
Later this week, the California-based company will launch the SolCool Millennia version 4, which it calls a hybrid solar air conditioner.

The solar-powered air conditioner is one of a growing number of energy-efficient products designed to save money, reduce pollution and maintain power during blackouts
The air conditioning unit--sized to cool the space of a large room--can be run on solar panels, from a wall socket or, in a pinch, batteries.

Regardless of the power source, the system will lower electricity costs substantially, according to company executives. Potentially, if these units get used in a widespread manner, they could also reduce the odds of summer power outages, often caused because homes and buildings crank up their air conditioners. The unit operates at a maximum of 500 watts, far less than half what typical air conditioning units eat up.

"Air conditioning takes the biggest load on the power grid. We're trying to use small PV (photovoltaic solar) cells and equip them with 18,000 BTUs (a unit of energy) of air conditioning," said Roger Pruitt, the president of SolCool and GPM, the research and development and manufacturing arm of the company.

The system includes batteries that can run the unit for either 12 or 24 hours depending on the battery size.

"So if there's a blackout or if there's no sun, you can run it off of the batteries," Pruitt said.

The latest version can also heat a room and has attachments for purifying water and running other DC (direct current) appliances, like lights and ceiling fans.... More

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