The inherent problem with solar-powered air conditioners is that solar panels aren't efficient enough to power the power hungry machines on their own. Greencore
has come up with a solution to that problem. Their 10200 model uses a single 170-watt solar panel during the day and electricity during the night, leading to massive electricity savings even if the unit isn't 100% solar-powered.
Electricity from the power grid and the solar panel both recharge the internal batteries on which the air conditioner runs. The GreenCore unit generates a cooling capacity of 10200 BTUs and a heating capacity of 13400BTUs, which is enough to heat and cool a 600 square foot room. Greencore has three different versions of their air conditioners and they all run on DC power, so there is no need to put an AC inverter between the solar panel and the air conditioner. This negates power losses associated with converting AC to DC. There is a fixed version of the air conditioner, a portable one with two batteries and another portable one with four batteries. All three units run on 24 volts DC.
According to Greencore, McDonald's
and the US Navy
are testing the units in the field.
[via Gizmodo, photos via Greencore]