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Energy-saving tips for AC season

If you have a solar electric system installed at your home or business, you might think it's a license to crank up the air conditioning or leave the lights on all night. But the more energy efficient you are, the faster your solar PV will pay for itself--solar will offset a greater portion of your electric use, saving you more on your monthly bill.

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Country's first solar air conditioner installed

In Florida, where air conditioning is considered more of a human right than a luxury, what is apparently the country's very first solar-powered central AC unit has been installed. With a price tag of about twice that of a standard unit, this Sedna Air system uses the sun to superheat its environmentally-friendly fluid. This means the compressor doesn't have to do anything but pump. And that means the unit saves mongo electricity. Usually, the compressor literally compresses the refrigerant fluid to produce heat, changing it from a cool low-pressure gas to a hot high-pressure gas that flows through the condenser to become liquid. That cooled liquid then absorbs heat from the building and changes back to gas and cycles into the compressor again. (Now you know enough about air conditioners to bore your friends at parties--congratulations!)

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