Malaysia’s climate is equatorial, which means it’s hot and humid throughout the year. While this is good news for the millions of visitors who come here every year, it’s tough for property owners who have to cool their homes all year round. The cost of electricity in the country might not be high, but air conditioning takes the largest chunk of home power consumption.
Solar air conditioner projects in Malaysia have become popular over the years as more consumers harness the readily available solar energy. The government and private sector have continued investing heavily to achieve the target of 20% RE generation penetration by 2025. Most of these renewable energy efforts focus on solar power due to the availability of sunlight most of the year.
If you’re a homeowner or business owner in the country, it’s time to consider solar air conditioning for your property. This post breaks down the workings of a solar-powered air conditioning system, benefits and installation. This information will help you make an informed decision.
What is Solar Air Conditioning?
Across the country, you’ll find typical air cons and most of these utilize electricity to cool living spaces. A solar air conditioner, on the other hand, harnesses the power of electricity to cool your home.
In the most basic working of these systems, you have solar panels which collect sunlight in their cells. The arrays convert this solar energy into the electricity to run the air con instead of using electricity from the mains.
There’s a battery unit for storing excess power. You can utilize this at night or on days when there’s not enough sunlight.
In a standard solar air conditioning unit, you will find the following components:
- Solar photovoltaic Panels
- ACDC Hybrid A/C Indoor Unit
- ACDC Hybrid A/C Outdoor Unit
- Air Switch
- Remote control
- Fuse Protection
- Lightning Arrester
Types of Solar Air Conditioners
To better understand how a solar air con works, it’s essential to look at the models available on the market. These include:
- Solar thermal hybrid air conditioners: This is a solar-powered system where solar energy is converted into electricity to help the compressor in the refrigeration process. The heat in your home is transferred to the refrigerant gas. This then circulates out to a condenser to dump the excess heat.
- Solar photovoltaic (PV) air conditioners: If you have used a typical split system to cool your home, it’s easy to understand the solar photovoltaic (PV) air conditioners. These are simply split air conditioners powered by solar energy rather than electricity. The solar panels here play a critical role in collecting sunlight and converting it into electricity.
- Absorption chillers: These solar air conditioners work through a heating and cooling process involving water evaporation and condensation. The unit consists of an evaporator, two adsorption chambers, and a condenser and works through a thermo-chemical process. The fan and the motor in the system use solar energy.
When choosing a solar air con, you can opt for a hybrid system that utilizes both the mains electricity and solar energy. This guarantees your home is always cool despite power outages. You can also opt for an off-grid solar unit which doesn’t rely at all on the mains. These systems are larger and more costly due to the amount of solar storage required.
The solar energy marketed has also evolved to include portable solar air cons for outdoor use. With the government investing heavily in renewable energy projects, the cost of solar continues going down for both installation and the hardware required.
Is Solar Air Conditioning a Good Investment?
- Is solar air conditioning a worthy investment for your home? This is the question that most property owners ask solar installers in the country. To get an answer to this question, consider the following advantages of using a solar air conditioner in Malaysia:
- Cost-saving: You’ll save a lot of money in power bills. Without total reliance on the grid, you can reduce your utility bills.
- Boost to home value: Homebuyers and renters will first look at improvements that boost energy efficiency. A solar AC is a big attraction and this improves the value of your home.
- Clean energy: Green living is now a big trend in the country and you can embrace this by leveraging clean energy in your air conditioning. Solar energy is a renewable power source, and it reduces reliance on burning fossil fuels. This, in turn, reduces greenhouse gas emissions.
- Undisrupted air conditioning: When there’s a power outage due to freak weather or other problems, you will still enjoy air conditioning if you have sufficient solar power storage.
- Low maintenance: after installation of your solar AC system, the costs of maintenance are minimal.
Harnessing the Power of Solar Air Conditioning in Malaysia
Ready to harness the power of solar to power your air conditioning? You should first consult a qualified solar installer in your city. Look for a licensed and registered solar installation company with experience in the industry.
The professional will help you evaluate the viability of solar power in your area, determine available sunlight, and audit your energy needs to determine the size of the solar air con. After this assessment, they will help design and plan the solar air conditioning system.