AUSTIN, Texas - Austin Solar Air Conditioning Inc. has announced that the company is developing a thermal solar air conditioning system utilizing parabolic trough solar technology. According to the company, the Austin Solar AC system does not require electricity to run a conventional compressor and does not use refrigerant. The system is said to provide significant cost savings, and can also supply space heating and hot water.

The company said the development of the Austin Solar AC system began over five years ago in response to the need for alternative solutions to reduce the financial and ecological cost of operating traditional air conditioning systems. “While there are several organizations in the U.S. that offer photovoltaic solar systems, we found no one offering standard products using the more efficient thermal absorption technology,” said Walter Ross, CEO of Austin Solar AC. “Our goal for Austin Solar AC is to provide affordable and accessible solar air conditioning systems for homes and businesses.”

Thermal solar collection systems typically capture 60 percent of solar energy, while photovoltaic (PV) cells convert less than 20 percent of the solar energy to electricity, said the company. The parabolic trough thermal solar collectors provide the required energy to operate the air conditioning absorption unit. The Austin Solar AC system utilizes a high temperature absorption chiller that is said to be more efficient than either low temperature adsorption units or traditional refrigerant based air conditioning units. The first beta systems are expected to be installed in 2009.

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Publication date:10/06/2008