This time of year in the northern hemisphere people know very well the value of air-conditioning and what it means not to have it. Climate change has brought another summer loaded with record temperatures around the globe and places that are not prepared for it have seen misery and even death for the poorer members of society.
The sun itself is one of the major sources of energy for all life on earth so why can we not use it as free fuel for not just heating and electricity but cooling? The answer is that we can and there are several ways to do it.
The most straight forward way to use the free power of the sun to cool a house or office is too simply use solar panels and batteries to power a conventional air conditioning system. The challenge with this is actually the energy storage itself as constant recharge and discharge of lead acid batteries shortens their life so that you may have to replace them as early as 1.5 years. This becomes expensive quickly but keep in mind there is much research into better batteries for this purpose and surely there will be major cost break through on the horizon.
Another way is to reduce the number of batteries and use a condenser system for refrigerant as shown in the second half of the video. With the addition of storage tanks for both compressed and evaporated refrigerant you essentially store energy in the refrigerant itself.
There are others ways being developed to make solar heat into cooling but this video does a good job of explaining two of them.
Gordon's expertise in the area of industrial energy efficiency and alternative energy. He is an experienced electrical engineer with a Masters degree in Alternative Energy technology. He is the co-founder of several renewable energy media sites including Solar Thermal Magazine.