Hybrid Solar Thermal Air Conditioner

All air conditioning systems use a closed loop cycle for the refrigerant (gas). The compressor (within the condenser) is typically used to pressurize the refrigerant to allow the process to take place.

Alternatively, an external heat source (such as a flat plate collector) may be used to capture ambient temperature and impart the heat in to the refrigerant, thus creating pressure within a closed loop of refrigerant. The more heat the refrigerant is exposed to, the less work that the compressor must do to allow the process to occur and therefore more energy efficient.

With this in mind, the Ecofrost solar air conditioning system has a tube based collector attached to the condenser, which is used to capture heat both from solar thermal energy and the heat radiated from the condensor and impart it in to the refrigerant prior to it passing in to the condensor. To optimise efficiency, the flat plate collector has heat conducting inner coils inside it and a header tank (full of water) placed right infront of the condensor fan to capture radiating thermal energy. This process facilitates energy savings of up to 30 – 60%.

 

 

Running Principals

Once the room achieves the desired temperature, the compressor will turn off. The refrigerant will continue to cycle until the room temperature deviates too much from the desired temperature. During this process, gradually pressure within the circulating refrigerant will decrease and therefore reduce the ability for the system to maintain the desired temperature. When the pressure drops too low, the compressor will turn back on and appropriately re-pressurise the refrigerant. Contrary to this, due to the collector within the Ecofrost system, the refrigerant continues to be pressurised from the heat being imparted in to it and therefore the compressor will remain off considerably longer.

The compressor and solar thermal collector are synergistically paired such that the system can operate with a smaller compressor relative to a comparable sized inverter system. As such, the Ecofrost solar air conditioner systems consume collectively much less electricity and, in tandem with the solar collector cycle, Ecofrost solar air conditioners optimise energy savings and reduce running costs.The Ecofrost solar air conditioning range is suitable for any commercial or residential building within the design parameters of the systems.