Frío Solar | Solar Cold | Keyplan Ingeniería Engineering A Coruña

“Solar cooling”: can we use heat to produce cold?

Well, yes. Solar radiation can also be used to generate cold. It is somewhat contradictory, but the truth is that solar cooling is already a reality in development. Do you want to know how it works and why does it have so much potential? Keep reading!

How does solar cooling work?

The term “solar cold” is used for any system in which the sun’s energy is used for cooling. There are two different ways to generate cold from the sun:

  1. The first one is by placing photovoltaic panels and combining them with some equipment that generates cold from this energy.
  2. The second option is based on solar thermal energy. Thermal solar panels would be installed combined with an absorption machine.

The second option is the most efficient in terms of performance and is the one we want to investigate about the most.

The absorption machine with which the panels are combined in these systems bases its operation on the fact that some substances are capable of absorbing heat. These substances react with refrigerants thanks to the hot water obtained by solar energy.

The facilities and technologies used for this type of solar cooling are still in their early stages, so we will still have to wait a few years for the experience to serve as a backup in the implementation of solar cooling as a popularized alternative.

Why is it so interesting?

According to the Energy Sustainability Agency, 73% of household energy consumption is used for heating / air conditioning and hot water. This percentage could be drastically reduced thanks to solar cooling.

It could be especially useful for residential or rural areas where each unit could produce its own energy, especially if it has a terrace or large plot. Generating cold from the sun is extremely efficient: the bigger the need for refrigeration, the more capacity to produce it. Without heat, there is no ability to produce cold, but there is also no need to generate it. It’s an almost perfect supply-demand movement.

In addition, the same installation could be used to produce heat during the cold months, so we would have covered the needs of the whole year with a single equipment.

Other advantages?

  • It is a much cheaper energy than electricity, both in its production and in its maintenance.
  • The process is non-polluting and clean, so it becomes a great opportunity to promote environmental care.
  • It is a growing sector with enormous potential that requires easily amortizable investments.

In Keyplan we are clear about one thing: the future is built through change. We should not be afraid of the new alternatives that technology and engineering offer us. Clean energies are undoubtedly a safe bet when we talk about a more sustainable future with better models.