August 25, 2008 It's an idea that makes perfect sense - when it's hot, the sun is out, so why not utilize that energy to help cool down. Californian based Greencore has developed a solar-powered air conditioning system for both fixed and mobile applications which can keep a room up to 600 square feet cool using a single 170 watt solar panel or switch to using power from the grid when necessary.
The Greencore 10200 is a thermostatically controlled solar powered air conditioner that provides mechanical cooling air conditioning without the high operating costs associated with traditional A/C units. It runs on DC current to avoid the need for an AC inverter. Both mobile and fixed units are available, depending on user needs, and the mobile version comes with either two or four batteries.
One of the great features is that for days when it’s stinking hot yet overcast, the system has the option to use power from the grid to charge its batteries. It does this at off peak times to save users money and to avoid increasing demand during peak periods. The efficient design means it will automatically switch from solar to battery power when sun is unavailable. The Greencore 10200 is also available with an optional heating component for climate control on warm days with cool nights.
The costs of the GreenCore10200 Solar Powered Air Conditioner start at USD$5700, depending upon the model with solar panels and extra batteries sold separately. The mobile unit comes with one solar panel as standard and the heating component is an extra USD$400. The design also provides the flexibility to incorporate other alternative forms of power generation such as wind power.
The product is now available, but the company says that due to high-demand it is currently only selling the systems for commercial applications. Both McDonald’s and the US Navy are testing Greencore’s solar cooling systems.
A PDF of the units specifications is available here.