Solar Air Conditioning: types, operation, and price

Solar air conditioning

Solar air conditioning is a climate control system that utilizes solar radiation to generate cold air. It is a paradoxical system since what causes high temperatures is also the most sustainable solution for them.

To give you an idea, traditional air conditioning can account for up to 80% of electricity expenses in the summer, while solar air conditioning eliminates this cost, resulting in significant savings on the electricity bill.

Below, we will show you the types of systems you can use, the installation costs, and how they operate.

Types of solar air conditioning, how do they work?

There are two types of solar air conditioning with solar panels: absorption or hybrid. Both installations must be carried out by a licensed installer who is knowledgeable about refrigerant gas handling and correctly positions both the air conditioning unit and the solar panels.

Solar absorption air conditioning

Solar absorption air conditioning is a cooling system that operates by changing the state and temperature of two substances: ammonia and water. These substances are located in the so-called absorption unit and initiate the following process to cool a space:

  1. La radiación del sol eleva la temperatura del amoniaco y lo evapora
  2. El amoniaco evaporado se dirige hacia el condensador, que hace que ceda su calor al exterior y pase a estado líquido
  3. El amoniaco líquido pasa por una válvula de expansión, que reduce su temperatura. A continuación llega al evaporador, dónde absorbe el aire de la estancia y se evapora
  4. El amoniaco evaporado vuelve a la unidad de absorción y se vuelve a mezclar con el agua

Hybrid solar air conditioning

Hybrid solar air conditioning involves the installation of photovoltaic panels that generate the electricity required for the air conditioner to operate.

When there is solar radiation, the solar panels collect that energy in the form of alternating current and convert it into direct current for household use, thanks to an inverter. This system is compatible with any type of known air conditioner: split, ducted, or portable.

How much does it cost to install solar air conditioning?

Solar air conditioning kits have a price range between €1,500 and €2,000 for a power output of 2 to 3 kW. In addition to this, you need to consider the cost of the dual installation, both for the air conditioning unit and the solar panels:

  • The best solar panels on the market can be found for around €150 per module. To give you an idea, a self-consumption installation will range from €600 to €800 per square meter, including the necessary components for its operation and labor costs.
  • The installation cost for a split air conditioner can start at €265, while portable air conditioners can start from €120. On the other hand, the cost of installing ducted air conditioning will start from €550, depending on the required dimensions of the work.

In summary, the total cost of installing a solar air conditioning system will always be higher than €3,000.

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