Air conditioners

April 8, 2010
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Solar Panels Plus (SPP), designer and manufacturer of solar water heaters, solar air conditioning/heating systems and photovoltaic solar panels, has released the SplitCool DC18, the world’s first and only DC-powered, high SEER air conditioning system. The SplitCool DC18 is ideal for any commercial or residential location where cooling or heating is required and grid power is unavailable, unreliable or requires generators (with potentially complex or costly refueling logistics).

The SplitCool DC18 runs off a battery bank that is supplied power from an array of photovoltaic panels and installs without ducts, eliminating the majority of installation and materials costs. The unit can be added quickly to an existing structure and eliminates nearly 30 percent of cooling or heating losses which occur in the ductwork of forced air systems. It allows each room to be conditioned as a separate zone. The SplitCool DC18 can be used in permanent and temporary remote buildings or structures, such as construction office trailers, portable classrooms or medical facilities.

“High-efficiency SplitCool DC18 units will dramatically lower the total system cost for running an air conditioner from solar panels, by eliminating the bulk of installation work required by competitive units and by using fewer solar panels and a lower battery requirement,” said John Williams, chief operating officer, Solar Panels Plus. “Unlike the SplitCool DC18, most normal air conditioners simply turn on and off based on the thermostat, and this normal ‘on-off-on-off’ approach is very wasteful of electricity because it is not always necessary to run the compressor at full speed.”

There are other advantages to the SplitCool DC18 versus a traditional window or wall unit including that the remote compressor makes it significantly quieter and does not require a large hole in exterior walls. It also allows an interior room without an exterior wall to be cooled up to 50 feet away. The unit uses four or more 12 volt standard deep cycle batteries.

The SplitCool DC18 uses a brushless, permanent magnet DC motor with a digital frequency driver that allows it to size itself dynamically based on load with a variable speed and variable refrigerant flow compressor, unlike a normal AC unit that has two speeds, stop and go. On a given day it can be an 18,000 BTU unit or a 4,000, 8,000, or 12,000 BTU unit based on need. By eliminating the on-off cycle of traditional air conditioners, the SplitCool DC18 is more efficient and it can provide more hours of cooling while using less power.
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