Australian researchers have revealed a new breakthrough for solar power – a solar thermal air-conditioning system that is capable of efficiently heating and cooling commercial-scale buildings.
The technology was developed by scientists at the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) in Melbourne. It proved to be successful after field tests at a shopping mall, where closed-loop technologies used two desiccant wheels to absorb moisture from the air while the other two wheels generated cool air with solar power.
“Energy research is driving down costs of renewable technologies, accelerating the transition to a lower-emissions future,” says CSIRO Energy Director Peter Mayfield. “We are pioneering new technologies and this project is a world-first demonstration of a desiccant air-conditioning system using roof-mounted concentrating solar thermal correctors.”
The impact of the new heating and cooling system is being reviewed for long-term implications.