Wednesday, June 21, 2017

The Micro Air Conditioner that runs on Solar Power from your Window

What if you could buy an air conditioner that only weighs less than 10 lbs, fits in a small space in your window, and runs off of a solar panel that is on the rear of the air conditioner and facing the great outdoors?

It wouldn't be very powerful. The solar panel is small and only produces 10 Watts of power.

10 Watts of power, producing 100 BTUs of cooling. That isn't much, but here is the trick... you don't just buy 1. You buy one for every window in your home.

So if you have 5 windows in your home, you buy five of these micro air conditioners and put one in each window - producing 500 BTUs and cooling your home without a single cent of electricity from the grid.

Each micro air conditioner unit sells for $89 each and includes everything you need to install it in your window.

Pros
  • Affordable, saves on electricity whereas conventional air conditioners cost way more on your electricity bill.
  • Constantly cooling your home - even at night, using battery energy stored up from the day before.
  • Because it cools your home constantly from multiple units it prevents your home from heating and cooling and heating and cooling cycles that a normal air conditioner goes through since most people only turn a conventional air conditioner on during time periods when it is more affordable electricity prices.
  • Easy to transport, since it weighs less than 10 lbs.
  • Easy to install. You just slide it into the gap of your window and window frame - and adjust the wings to make the window air tight.
  • If you already own a conventional air conditioner you will save money on electricity costs.
  • Perfect for people who want to live in an off the grid home.
Cons

There is one big problem with this product. It currently doesn't exist. We came up with the idea for the invention earlier today (June 21st 2017).

Slightly larger units producing 20 Watts of power / 200 BTUs and similar designs could be used to fill larger spaces in windows, providing even more cooling power.

The problem with conventional air conditioners is that even a small air conditioner uses 500 Watts of power and produces 5000 BTUs, but the amount of electricity being used and the subsequent cost is outrageous.

A single 500 Watt air conditioner costs the user 0.5 kWh per hour. During peak hours in Ontario (all electricity rates below are from Toronto Hydro, each kWh costs you 15.7 cents, but if you are running your air conditioner during peak hours for 25 hours per week it will cost you $1.9625 per week just for that amount of time being used*.

* You might also be running it during mid peak and off peak hours, costing 11.3 cents or 7.7 cents per kWh.

Do that for 25 weeks of the year for a single year and that is $98.125 (plus tax).

If you let your 500 Watt air conditioner run constantly for 28 days it would cost you the following:

100 Peak Hours at 15.7 cents per kWh = $7.85

120 Mid Peak Hours at 11.3 cents per kWh = $6.78

432 Off Peak Hours at 7.7 cents per kWh = $16.632

Total $29.262 for letting your 500 Watt air conditioner run constantly for 28 days. That doesn't seem like much after all, but it does add up over time. (And do you really need to run it constantly?)

Of course, the price skyrockets if you are using a 1000 Watt or 1500 Watt air conditioner, effectively doubling or tripling the costs.

A single month of running a 1500 Watt air conditioner will cost $87.786 in electricity costs, roughly equal to the cost of the proposed $89 micro air conditioner - which a person could use 6 or more months per year with zero cost.

Slightly larger 20, 30 or 40 Watt air conditioners could still be made to be lightweight, producing more electricity - plus blocking out sunlight from your home - and producing 200, 300 or 400 BTUs of cooling.

"Micro air conditioners" do already exist - or at least they are called that. They still weigh between 26 and 74 lbs, and they are still pretty large and clunky. Clearly, their definition and my definition of the word "micro" differs. Why are they using the word micro to sell their products, when that word really doesn't represent what they are selling?

The air conditioning industry in my opinion should be thinking smaller, more efficient, and solar-powered.

In the future every window in a person's home could potentially be filled with a solar-powered air conditioner during the hottest months of the year - allowing people to cool their homes and keep them cool, using zero electricity from the grid.

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