Solar airconditioning is an emerging renewable energy technology that is technically proven and suitable for wide scale deployment. Unfortunately, solar airconditioning cannot compete on a level playing field with other renewable energy technologies because it is not eligible for government rebates such as those awarded to solar photovoltaic electricity or solar hot water systems.
This paper explores the potential for solar thermal cooling to succeed commercially, and more specifically, the application scenarios where this is most likely. This mainly philosophical contribution hopes to highlight directions for future research.
Desiccant wheel based air-conditioning systems (DWAC) include a desiccant wheel component that performs latent cooling coupled to another component, for example an indirect evaporative cooler (IEC also known as a dew point evaporative cooler), that performs the sensible cooling without adding moisture into the air flow.
Solar desiccant air-conditioning is an emerging technology that offers the promise of reducing reliance on grid connected electricity for providing comfort air-conditioning. Development of a method of assessing the seasonal energy savings of these devices would enable a fair comparison with alternative devices. This could be used in policy support mechanisms to assist industry growth.