Solar powered air conditioning units could be created by methods similar to those shown in the Probaway blog, A solar powered refrigerator would be non-polluting and free to operate. Basically this would consist of a large gas type refrigerator heat exchange assembly with the heated gas element being heated by a solar reflector outside of the house and the cold elements being located inside of the house. The entire system would be a closed loop and require zero outside energy other than light from the sun. When the sun heated the Generator Boiler element it would automatically operate and gas would flow, via convection, to cool the elements which in turn could be used to cool other things such as the inside of a house.
In the diagram above the Generator Boiler, the vertical pipe seen on the left, could be set horizontally and have sunlight focused upon it from a reflective mirror. The heat from the sun replaces the heat produced by the Burner. There could be a vertical Parabolic Trough type mirror assembly which tracks the sun and focuses the sunlight on a vertical Generator Boiler or a completely passive system could be made by using a Parabolic Trough with the Generator Boiler tube permanently fixed at the focus point of the mirror.
The mirror could be adjusted manually for good efficiency on a weekly basis, to track the seasonal movement of the sun, instead of requiring a constant tracking which would require some adaptive pointing system. A group of trough reflectors with an area about the size of a house’s roof should create enough cooling for the house if it were well insulated.
This sunshine map is from Rice University. This is an annual accumulation from sunshine but the actual need for interior air conditioning depends on many factors and will have to be determined on individual locations and needs.
This is a map from NorthernAC (air conditioning). It shows a generalized map of the United States color coded for the need for Heat Pumps.
Probably most homes would get the best long term economic value and physical comfort by fully insulating their buildings and then installing these passive reflective parabolic reflector gas refrigeration units. Then if there is a need for additional cooling a more direct energy consumptive heat pump could be used. One good thing is that the parabolic system once installed is completely passive and will supply cooling automatically when it is most needed and if well made it would be permanent.
Soon this blog will discuss a new advanced swamp cooler method for cooling structures such as homes.