Usually when we talk about Sun We relate it directly to heating and, as far as our homes are concerned, to heating. But what if we change the rules of the game? Optimally combining cold and heat, we can achieve great energy savings in our homes.
Currently, between 20 and 25% of the energy consumed in the house is entirely used for air conditioning. This expense, which triggers the monthly bill at the same time as it negatively affects the environment, can be significantly reduced with the sun as a basic concept.
What do we mean when we talk about solar cooling?
It is these systems that use the solar energy not to heat the space, but to cool it; It is therefore, take advantage of the heat to generate cold. During the summer months, especially in the central and southern regions of our country, electricity consumption skyrockets due to air conditioners. Therefore, the popularization of solar cooling could represent a fantastic development in the implementation of renewable energies to cool spaces.
How do solar cooling systems work?
The process is very similar to that of the generation of heat by renewable energies. First of all, it captures solar energy using the chosen system, such as solar panels or biomass boilers.
Then, the energy is stored, which serves as an energy source for the system in charge of producing cold. The next step is distribution of energy in the form of cold; generally a radiant circuit installed in the floor or the ceiling is used. And finally, the machine which produces the cold executes what is called a dissipation circuit; that is, it captures heat from inside the building to emit cold.
The ability to store thermal solar energy is essential for continuously delivering fluctuating stored energy, such as solar power. Although it is necessary to emphasize that what is stored is not exactly thermal energy, since it is not stored as heat, but is transformed into chemical energy.
Solar cooling equipment.
Currently, there are already some manufacturers on the market that offer all-in-one equipment; that is, equipment that replaces heating and air conditioning, as they emit cold and heat, depending on the needs of users. These equipments are powered by non-renewable energy sources.
For its part, the research project PSE-ARFRISOL attempts to show that users can save 80-90% energy with this type of equipment.
The system Climatewell is a compact heating and cooling system that operates 24 hours a day – 365 days a year. This system covers practically all the energy needs of the house: hot water, underfloor heating, swimming pool heating and underfloor cooling. It can also store solar energy; It does this thanks to the energy released by the changes of state of matter, in the same way as the heat pump, although in this case it does not do it by a gas / liquid but by the dissolution of salts in water.
We can cool a house with the installation of underfloor heating with which it is heated in winter. For heating, hot water is passed and cold water for cooling.
If you want to go deeper into this subject, I recommend this guide on solar cooling. Savings and energy efficiency thanks to solar cooling.