cool solar panels

Water cooling solar panels can potentially save you 20% on air conditioning

New water cooling solar panel is a technology that can significantly reduce the cost of industrial air conditioning and refrigeration.

This discovery has been made over the last few years by the researchers at The University Standford. This experiment was conducted over three days, placing three water panels each 0.37 square meters and a rate of 0.2 per minute on top of the roof of the building on Stanford campus. The outcome of this experiment resulted in their step up cooled down the water close to 5 degree Celsius below the temperature over the three days of testing. Following, they used the data collected from the experiment to simulate how these panels would work cooling a two-story office building in the non other extremely hot and humid climate of Las vegas. The result of this second experiment was a 20 percent decrease in the building’s air conditioning electrical demand. Day to day, the savings ranged between 18 percent to almost 50 percent.

How it works:

A plastic layer with a silver coating reflecting almost all sunlight is placed over the water coolers on the roofs. The incoming sunlight is mirrored off so the panel stays cool in the summer sun while the second layer is a snaking tube. A snaking tube is where the water is piped through and sheds heat to the plastic. The heat is then emitted by the plastic at a wavelength in the middle of the region of the infrared spectrum. It is not absorbed by the atmosphere but instead travels in the direction of outer space. Lastly, the entire panel is wrapped in a thermal shield plastic housing that protects virtually all the heat radiated away comes from rotating water and not the surrounding air.

“This research builds on our previous work with radiative sky cooling but takes it to the next level,” says Aaswath Raman, co-lead author of the study. “It provides for the first time a high-fidelity technology demonstration of how you can use radiative sky cooling to passively cool a fluid and, in doing so, connect it with cooling systems to save electricity.”

Moving forward with developing this new device, the Stanford researchers have founded a company called SKYcool Systems, and presently working on incorporating the water cooling solar panels into air conditioning and refrigeration systems.


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