As the title reads, Southern California Gas company has taken a green initiative and is testing solar-powered air conditioners. This, by all means, is a step in the right direction. SoCal Gas Co., We applaud you!
According to CNET, “Both products–one from Hawaiian start-up Sopogy and another from HelioDynamics in the U.K.–reflect and concentrate incoming sunlight onto a pipe to heat water. That heated water is used in place of gas or electricity to power an industrial absorption chiller, which creates cold air using a heat exchanger and compressor.” For all of you car fanatics, this is similar to the cooling kits that are available for forced induction systems (superchargers or turbos). Surprisingly, in regards to the automotive industry, companies like Mercedes and BMW have been using solar panels for years, though not widely publicized.
Regarding the companies actually producing this technology, Sopogy, originally founded in 2002 at the Energy Laboratories, is focused on bring new reusable energy to the market. The company invents, manufactures and sells the world’s most innovative solar collectors. HelioDynamics, founded in 2000, has a very similar mission. HelioDynamics “will introduce the new 2008-9 range of products to the Southern European, Middle East and US markets. Other regions will be phased in, starting in 2010.”
I’ll be the first to tell you that owning a home or even renting an apartment in a hot part of the world can be a huge expense. I’ve been living in Los Angeles for 25 years and see the power bills spike in the summer. Dreadful. Since I pay Southern California Gas, I do hope they implement new, green energy saving ideas to help preserve the environment while at the same time lowering our bills.