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Brainstorm Project: Solar-Powered 24000 BTU Air Conditioner

Brainstorm Project: Experimental 24000 BTU Air Conditioner

This is an experimental, hypothetical 24000 BTU air conditioner powered by a conventional photovoltaic solar system. Like all of the other brainstorm projects posted here, critique is welcome. The unit for this project is 24,000 BTU because this is a very common size.

Billions of people could benefit from air conditioning, but most cannot afford it. In addition to that, it contributes to pollutant and greenhouse gas emissions that are causing growing environmental problems. One way to address that issue is to develop an air conditioner that does not rely on the grid for most of its energy.

NB: This project is hypothetical, so do it at your own risk.


Pioneer WYS024GMFI22RL 24000 BTU Inverter  Air Conditioner – I chose an inverter unit to minimize energy usage. Inverter air conditioners can save 50% to 70% on your A/C energy usage, so that dramatically reduces the number of solar panels and batteries required. So a key goal to making this project a success is: Don’t skimp on the air conditioner, because the solar panels cost far more.

3.8 kW Solar System (consisting of Renogy 24 volt, 250 watt solar panels – A 30% capacity factor is assumed for the solar system, and a 50% duty cycle is assumed for the air conditioner (which is conservative). The example solar panels in this case would cost roughly $5,376 USD ($1.40 USD per watt).

I’m still working out the energy storage plan…


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