How Does Solar Air Conditioners Work?

Did you know that solar absorption cooling or solar air conditioning which uses an absorption chiller is one of the most cost effective means for commercial air conditioning and space heating? Solar air conditioners are powered by solar evacuated tube collectors that collects solar thermal heat from the sun. This energy is then collected and transmitted into a solar absorption chiller with the help of a heat transfer fluid or HTF. The HTF comprises water and corn or polypropylene glycerol. The mixture is designed in such a way that it provides the most efficient heat transfer and also provides freeze protection during the winters. The solar absorption chiller is powered by HTF which passes into it and in turn provides free solar air conditioning.

Solar air conditioners uses the energy of the sun when it shines brightest and uses this energy to cool homes during the hottest part of the day. There are two major types of solar air conditioning. One of them uses electricity from solar panels and the other is powered by evaporative coolers. In the traditional forms of solar air conditioners photo voltaic panels absorb solar energy and convert it to electricity and when the sun rays are not enough the batteries present in the system does the job of conversion. On the other hand, when the sun shines brightly the solar panel charges the battery.

The other type is the evaporative cooler also known as a solar powered chiller. This system strictly uses the energy of the sun to cool your homes. In this system the solar energy heats a refrigerant and then pressurizes it. When the pressurized refrigerant is released it expands and cools the surrounding air. Setting up solar air conditioners can be a costly affair initially but in the long run it proves a cost-effective investment in the long run.

Now let us have a look at the advantages of solar air conditioners. First of all, solar air conditioners are known for their reduced emissions. Unlike other conventional air conditioners which uses coal or thermal power, solar air conditioners do not use any such power modes to cool your home. As a result, there is no burning of any kind of fossil fuel and thus, carbon emissions are not present in case of solar air conditioners.

Secondly, with the installation of solar air conditioners the sale value of the property increases and sometimes installation of solar air conditioners may qualify a homeowner for attractive incentives.

At the same time, there are some disadvantages as well. First of all, solar air conditioners are weather dependent. For example, when the weather is not bright and sunny enough, there will not be enough heat for the panels to soak up.


In case solar air conditioners are placed on high remote areas of the home, it can become quite difficult to clean it if it gets covered with snow and sleet.

Last but not the least, when you decide to install solar air conditioners you will have to weigh the advantages as well as the disadvantages depending on your requirement and decide accordingly.