Indonesia’s hot and humid weather requires that many homes and places of work have air conditioning. It makes energy bills one of the biggest expenditure items for households. Solar air conditioning is increasingly being seen as a viable alternative that holds the potential to bring down energy costs and provide clean energy.
How Solar Air Conditioners Work
Solar air conditioners use photovoltaic cells to power the components of an air conditioning unit like the compressor and the blower. Solar air conditioners come in two main types;
#1 DC Powered Solar Air Conditioners
Photovoltaic cells convert light energy to electricity in the form of a direct current. Conventional household appliances are made to use alternate current, which comes from the mains. For solar energy to be used with these appliances, it must be converted from DC to AC using an inverter.
DC solar air conditioners are designed to use direct current without the need for an inverter. It makes them cheaper and easier to install.
#2 Hybrid Solar Air Conditioners
Hybrid solar air conditioners are designed to use photovoltaic energy systems and also draw energy from mains electricity. Hybrid air conditioners are more reliable than pure DC solar air conditioners. It is because unlike DC air conditioners, they are not affected by lack of sunshine, and can run uninterrupted.
A hybrid solar air conditioner Indonesia installation can drastically cut energy bills because Indonesia sees many sunshine hours. There is an average of seven hours of sunshine per day, which is 59.3% of daylight hours.
A hybrid will draw power from the mains in the evening and night only. Assuming the average family goes to bed by 11 pm, the solar air conditioning will need AC power for less than five hours. This reduced time translates to fewer kWh and lowers energy bills.
Solar Air Conditioning Energy Efficiency
The energy efficiency rating of an air conditioner is an important consideration when making a purchase. Energy efficiency is the ability of an air conditioner to deliver cooling air compared to the energy it uses.
The efficiency of an air conditioner is calculated by dividing the output volume of cold air delivered, by the energy consumption in achieving the targeted temperature. Energy consumption is measured in kWh. High numbers ratio translates to higher efficiency.
Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio
Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) is the most widely used rating for air conditioners. It measures the cooling output of an air conditioner over a season, against energy consumption. The SEER rating is like the mileage per gallon rating for a car.
A high seasonal energy efficiency ratio means that an air conditioner is using low energy while achieving optimal cooling. SEER ratings for air conditioners range from 13 to 21. A rating above 18 is considered highly efficient.
An air conditioner must achieve a SEER rating of 14.5 to be certified as energy efficient by the ENERGY STAR® certification. Although it is not mandatory, this certification is considered universally acceptable for appliances that use power.
A solar air conditioner Indonesia SEER rating of 13 is considered as adequately efficient. But energy experts say recommended residential air conditioners should have a SEER rating of 17. A SEER rating below eight is regarded as inefficient and probably illegal.
Why Go For a High SEER Rating Air Conditioner?
There are several reasons for going for solar air conditioning with a high SEER rating. These include;
#1 Low Energy Bills
A highly efficient air conditioner consumes low power while delivering optimal cooling conditions. High SEER ratings are desirable in both full DC and hybrid solar air conditioners. For a direct current (DC) solar system, high efficiency translates to longer battery life if the system uses batteries for backup.
For a hybrid solar air conditioner, high efficiency is desirable because it translates to lower power usage from the mains. It has a direct benefit of keeping the electricity bill low. In premises where night activity is low, a hybrid solar air conditioner can cut the energy bill by as much as 90%.
#2 Higher Comfort Levels
Higher SEER ratings are achieved by deploying superior technology in variable speed compressors and blowers. These two technologies enable an air conditioner to vary its operations according to the prevailing weather. The temperature is kept not too far from the desired target.
Variable-speed air conditioners keep the house evenly cooled. This is unlike the one-speed air conditioners that have high cycling rates. They turn off and on too frequently, which consumes higher power than variable speed air conditioners.
A high SEER ratio air conditioner is a useful appliance in any Indonesian home or workplace. There is a high potential for harvesting clean energy because Indonesia has lots of sunshine. A high SEER ratio air conditioner delivers great value in cost-effectiveness and comfort levels. A solar air conditioner with a high SEER rating is an even better bargain.