CSIRO has invented a new three in one solar air conditioning system that provides hot water, cooling and heating. It works by using heat from the sun and employs both desiccant and evaporative cooling technologies.CSIRO’s solar air conditioning is an innovative three in one technology that provides hot water, cooling and heating.
It uses only a fraction of the electricity of current systems and halves greenhouse gas emissions.The process begins with a typical solar hot water system. Water is heated by solar panels and stored in the hot water tank.This solar hot water can then be used throughout the home, reducing the need for gas or electricity.
A portion of the hot water is diverted into CSIRO’s new solar air conditioning unit, which is divided into two compartments.The hot water enters a heat exchanger in the first compartment of the unit. Similar to a car radiator the heat exchanger uses the hot water to heat outside air that has been drawn into the first compartment through the vent.
At the same time outside air is also being drawn into the second compartment into a desiccant wheel. The desiccant wheel is the most critical part of the system. It is used to dry out the air before it goes into the house.Slowly turning the desiccant material in the wheel continuously absorbs moisture in the second compartment and then the absorbent material dries out in the first compartment.
The desiccant material is dried out using the hot dry air generated by the heat exchanger. This air is then exhausted outside the home. The dry air from the desiccant wheel flows through an indirect evaporative cooler which creates a stream of cool dry air.This cool dry air is then fed into the home in order to cool down the rooms. In winter the solar heated air can be used directly to warm the house.//CSIRO