The more environmentally conscious among us still driving gasoline-powered cars often feel a pang of guilt as we turn on the air-conditioning on a hot day, knowing that we’ve just significantly reduced the fuel efficiency of our vehicle and sent more greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.
While solar-powered AC systems are nothing new, there’s been a problem getting their size down to a point that would allow them to fit inside of a passenger vehicle. While cars may have to wait a bit longer, truck drivers may be getting spoiled with a new solar-powered AC system like the i-Cool Solar we looked at earlier this month.
About the New AC System
If there’s one place that AC is a necessity for a vehicle, it is the humid climes of Hong Kong, so it’s not surprising to see the development of a solar-powered AC system for vehicles come out of The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) through a collaboration with industry partners.
The system features a photovoltaic panel attached to the roof of the truck’s cab, which collects solar energy to charge a specially made battery system that powers an electric motor to drive a variable frequency-driven (VFD) compressor, which produces the cooled air. This allows it to operate on cloudy or rainy days, and, because it is a stand-alone system, the AC can be switched on when the vehicle engine isn’t running.
The solar AC was installed on a Coca-Cola delivery truck for a series of tests and proved to work on the road. PolyU and its partners plan to explore further use of the system in Hong Kong. "We look forward to having more fruitful collaboration with Green Power Industrial Ltd and Swire Coca-Cola Hong Kong to build a low-carbon city. Together, we can jointly make a contribution for the sustainable development of our community," said PolyU President Professor Timothy W. Tong.
PolyU’s new system is a huge step forward for clean energy in China. If you want to do your part, and save money each month, contact Renova Energy about solar installation in the Coachella Valley