Expanding Solar Heating, Cooling Would Bolster US Economy

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feature-0-1380744431378.png With no end in sight to the federal government shutdown —*and worries mounting by the minute about its impact on the U.S. economy —*what can the private sector do to help spur job creation and economic growth in the future?** Here’s one good idea: The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) has just released a comprehensive new report outlining

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  • inetdog
    inetdog Solar Expert Posts: 3,123 ✭✭✭✭
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    Re: Expanding Solar Heating, Cooling Would Bolster US Economy

    I love the way they emphasize "Solar Heating and Cooling" and yet say absolutely nothing about cooling in the article.
    I wonder why??:-)
    SMA SB 3000, old BP panels.
  • bill von novak
    bill von novak Solar Expert Posts: 891 ✭✭✭✭
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    Re: Expanding Solar Heating, Cooling Would Bolster US Economy
    inetdog wrote: »
    I love the way they emphasize "Solar Heating and Cooling" and yet say absolutely nothing about cooling in the article.
    I wonder why??:-)

    From the report:

    =====================
    Solar Cooling Systems
    Solar-driven cooling can be accomplished using thermally activated systems driven by solar energy. The two most commonly used types are solar absorption systems and solar desiccant systems. Solar absorption systems use thermal energy to evaporate a refrigerant fluid to cool air. In contrast, solar desiccant systems use thermal energy to regenerate desiccants that dry air, thereby cooling it. When a solar desiccant system is used together with a conventional air conditioner, the conventional unit can typically be set at a higher temperature, thereby using less energy.
    =====================
  • inetdog
    inetdog Solar Expert Posts: 3,123 ✭✭✭✭
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    Re: Expanding Solar Heating, Cooling Would Bolster US Economy
    From the report:

    =====================... In contrast, solar desiccant systems use thermal energy to regenerate desiccants that dry air, thereby cooling it. When a solar desiccant system is used together with a conventional air conditioner, the conventional unit can typically be set at a higher temperature, thereby using less energy.
    =====================
    That short summary is partially wrong and partially an oversimplification, weakening the valid point that it is trying to make.
    Drying the air using a desiccant will actually release heat in the desiccant and not actually cool the air. (You add heat to the hydrated desiccant to dislodge the water, letting the water recombine must then release heat.)
    Reducing the moisture content of the air does reduce the enthalpy, making it easier for an A/C to cool the air by the same temperature difference (no need for the A/C to waste energy condensing the moisture content). It also makes air of the same end temperature more comfortable for occupants of the space. (The higher thermostat setting part.)

    I just wish that the teaser article had included some reference to the solar cooling part of the full report. :-)
    SMA SB 3000, old BP panels.
  • westbranch
    westbranch Solar Expert Posts: 5,183 ✭✭✭✭
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    Re: Expanding Solar Heating, Cooling Would Bolster US Economy

    Solar cooling has been in use for a long time, using the heat sort of like in a propane fridge.

    I remember an article several years ago about a resort in the Caribbean that installed a large solar water heating array for their DHW and cooling.... they were worried about being able to get enough energy to do the cooling portion, they get a lot of afternoon cloud and showers... Well after 1 month they had to shut down 1/3 of the array as they had too much collection vs their needs... Sometimes too much is not so good a thing. Never heard of the project after that. This is a thumbs up issue in my book, if I ever needed it (cooling) that is... frost again tonight.
     
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