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Old 03-28-2015, 09:49 AM   #1
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Solar Air Conditioning

Considering a "marine AC" unit is over $2k this might make sunny days a bit nicer on-board.

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Hybrid Air H-11 is priced at a level that makes it affordable for virtually every one. The MSRP cost of the Hybrid-Air, the necessary solar panels and a roof mount for the panels is about $3,450.


Solar Air Conditioning Hybrid-Air Mini Split Heat Pump H-11
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Old 03-28-2015, 10:13 AM   #2
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I think that is nothing special, just a variable speed compressor mini split with a solar system wired to it. You could probably build that cheaper. I like the idea but you more than likely already have half the system on your boat if you are running a decent sized solar setup.

The big question is anyone running 220v in their boat? That mini split won't touch 120v so you may need to have some type of transformer.
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Old 03-28-2015, 10:43 AM   #3
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Skinny, If they are running it stright off the panals then no transformer needed, they most likely are running 24 volt panals but that is a better way to go with a MPPT controller,it is more efficient and will allow 24volt to charge 12 volt batts.


From the site....

"During the day, the solar air conditioner receives DC power directly from solar panels without needing an inverter or controller. The DC solar power directly replaces the equivalent amount of AC power from the grid and can cut daytime energy costs by 80 to 90 percent!"

I wonder how it would deal with a cloud passing by?

The off-grid folks are mostly all 24 volt to a battery bank (or higher), as the cells are cheaper per Amp and with the MPPT controllers the level of efficiently is over 30% better then the old systems.

For warm climates having AC running for free (no noise maker) during the heat of the day would be nice. It may only be cooling one area in the boat but that would still be heaven.

The tropics would benefit the most but they have the most direct sun so it makes sense.
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Old 03-28-2015, 12:30 PM   #4
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I wonder if a regular marine AC would run off a solar setup, or do the marine units draw too many amps?
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Old 03-28-2015, 12:47 PM   #5
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I wonder if the guts inside the mini split are all DC based and simply taking a standard AC feed at night.
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Old 03-28-2015, 01:05 PM   #6
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Solar Air Conditioning

Here's a 12v marine AC unit. 6000 btu and draws 18 amps. Would that run off a boat sized solar array?

http://www.cruisencomfortusa.com/mes-6000-se/
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Old 03-28-2015, 02:38 PM   #7
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The 18 amp spec is at the lowest power setting (only one of three compressors running). I doubt it is producing 6000 btu at that setting. It looks like it draws 40amps (plus whatever the water pump draws) at 12v dc at the high setting producing 6000btu.
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Old 03-28-2015, 06:15 PM   #8
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Here's a 12v marine AC unit. 6000 btu and draws 18 amps. Would that run off a boat sized solar array?

MES 6000 | 12 Volt Marine Air Conditioner | Cruise N Comfort
Only a HUGE one! There is no free (energy) lunch...
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Old 03-28-2015, 08:47 PM   #9
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Interesting, the price quoted as the MSRP would seem too low to include a LOT of solar panels, but it is running on 220 so that would lower the amp requirement.

Most 120 watt 24 volt panels are not too large to fit a few on a boat. The question would be how many are in the kit and what is the required real-estate.
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Old 03-28-2015, 09:02 PM   #10
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The 18 amp spec is at the lowest power setting (only one of three compressors running). I doubt it is producing 6000 btu at that setting. It looks like it draws 40amps (plus whatever the water pump draws) at 12v dc at the high setting producing 6000btu.
That gives it an EER of 6000/40+*12= 12.5 or less. Not so hot ;-).

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Old 03-29-2015, 12:32 AM   #11
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It looks interesting for home use but I think you'd need too many square feet of panels for use on a boat. You would still need to run a generator at night. I suspect you could buy a marine AC and a Honda to run it for about the same price.
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Old 04-01-2015, 08:32 AM   #12
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Interesting, the price quoted as the MSRP would seem too low to include a LOT of solar panels, but it is running on 220 so that would lower the amp requirement.

Most 120 watt 24 volt panels are not too large to fit a few on a boat. The question would be how many are in the kit and what is the required real-estate.

Scott, the 220volt will lower the amp draw but not the wattage, my rough calculations are,
6000BTUs / 3.412 = 1758 cooling watts, you will get around 3 watts of cooling for 1 watt of power in an A/C system so 586watts of power required. 120 watts per solar panel - 5 panels required .
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Old 04-01-2015, 08:59 AM   #13
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Scott, the 220volt will lower the amp draw but not the wattage, my rough calculations are,
6000BTUs / 3.412 = 1758 cooling watts, you will get around 3 watts of cooling for 1 watt of power in an A/C system so 586watts of power required. 120 watts per solar panel - 5 panels required .
Thanks John, good information. Given the area to mount the panals it seems very do able. The panals would of course be also used to charge/power the house systems when not running the AC.

I love the idea of having air conditioning from solar power.

This type of technology will be the future as it matures. The last 5 years have seen lower cost and improvements in efficiency, the next 10 years will be exciting.
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Old 04-01-2015, 10:46 AM   #14
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Using DC power from solar panels for air con is not very efficient. There is a better way, at least from a thermodynamic perspective, that uses solar heat to drive the refrigeration cycle. Most common are ammonia or lithium bromide absorption cycles. The heat added by solar in a way replaces the energy input normally put into a compressor.

The problem is these systems are complex, need active control elements, can use very high or very low pressures, and in the case of ammonia, that's a nasty thing to use as a process fluid.

I sure wish we could come up with a simple refrigeration system that used minimal pumping power and could make use of heat either from solar or from a waste heat source.

Talk about a game changer.
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Old 04-01-2015, 10:57 AM   #15
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I love the idea of having air conditioning from solar power.
Double ditto! Our plan includes replacing our two current Kyrocera panels with a new system of about 1400 watts of panels on our pilothouse roof. Every year we delay the system possibilities increase. Looks like next winter to do the install now. I can hardly wait to see what becomes available by then!
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Old 04-01-2015, 03:09 PM   #16
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Why marine engines don't have air con compressors like those in cars? At least for pilot house service?
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Old 04-01-2015, 04:00 PM   #17
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Why marine engines don't have air con compressors like those in cars? At least for pilot house service?
That's been done, and nothing more than basic engineering required. But in my case, I find when main engine is running I almost never run the the AC. Just open up the pilot house and breeze is enough. AC is GOD when sitting still or going to sleep.
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Old 04-02-2015, 04:58 AM   #18
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Thanks John, good information. Given the area to mount the panals it seems very do able. The panals would of course be also used to charge/power the house systems when not running the AC.



I love the idea of having air conditioning from solar power.



This type of technology will be the future as it matures. The last 5 years have seen lower cost and improvements in efficiency, the next 10 years will be exciting.

Yep, agree totally.
By the way ,You would need a good battery bank to start the compressors ( you probably already know that)
I will be at China Refrigeration Expo next week, lots of new technology there from all over the planet, I will let you know if I find anything of interest.
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Old 04-05-2015, 05:21 AM   #19
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Solar fridge

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ski in NC View Post
Using DC power from solar panels for air con is not very efficient. There is a better way, at least from a thermodynamic perspective, that uses solar heat to drive the refrigeration cycle. Most common are ammonia or lithium bromide absorption cycles. The heat added by solar in a way replaces the energy input normally put into a compressor.

The problem is these systems are complex, need active control elements, can use very high or very low pressures, and in the case of ammonia, that's a nasty thing to use as a process fluid.

I sure wish we could come up with a simple refrigeration system that used minimal pumping power and could make use of heat either from solar or from a waste heat source.

Talk about a game changer.

This (small) company doing this type of fridge , powerfull and solar , sale some to Arabian country .

COMESSE SOUDURE - Chaudronnerie dans les Vosges - Savoir-faire -
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Old 04-05-2015, 08:08 AM   #20
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Is solar really a practical solution to power an air cond unit? In our experience night is when its needed most. Perhaps solor will eventuality be the holy grail of energy production, but battery technology and the panels themselves have a ways to go before they will repalce the trustworthy but thirsty genny.
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