Anyone tried a 12V Air Conditioner ?

Discussion in 'Alternative Energy' started by Micahn, Jul 5, 2006.

  1. Micahn

    Micahn Well-Known Member

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    Howdy all
    Some day my dream is to have a off grid home with just about every thing a on grid home would have. In my dream I would like to have solar/wind/hydro combo system making all the power I would ever need.
    Anyway I seem to spend a lot of time online looking around at new things to add to this dream of mine. Today I found some 12V/24V/ and 48V Air Conditioners units. Has anyone ever tried any of them ? If so how well did they work ?
    I am not talking swamp units that they are Air Conditioners I am talking about real 12V or 24 or 48V AC units.
     
  2. Tango

    Tango Well-Known Member

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    With a good micro hydro system you can have an all electric house with no need to consider a dc powered air conditioner. For this scenario you need to scout the best location, that is all :) Micro hydro is far more economical and generous producer of electric. Doesn't have the limitations that wind and solar have or the cost, necessarily.
     

  3. JAK

    JAK Well-Known Member

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    You can't always get what you want. But if you try sometimes you might find you get what you need. :)

    Anyhow, to make a case for solar powered air conditioners, if you have enough solar power for Spring and Fall, then you quite likely will have some extra when it is really sunny and stinking hot out. The exception might be when it is muggy, which is when alot of people want AC the most, and some even need it. Here is cold foggy Saint John at the moment it would not only be a luxury, it would be a highly redundant.

    I guess I am saying we don't envy your AC. We envy your need. :)
     
  4. JAK

    JAK Well-Known Member

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    If I was in the market for a 12v AC unit to run off solar I would get one sized to run at lower power more continuously rather than higher power more intermitently. Also, I would only run it during the solar peak, so that it would run directly off the panels, and the power left to charge the batteries would charge more efficiently. Still, it would take quite a bite out of you solar power.

    A better way might be to cool the house by preheating the water that is destined for the hot water heater, solar or conventional. Not sure of the best way to do this because of system pressure and water use. Also, you do not want want lingering around 80degF for to long as it should ideally be below 50F, or above 140F, and not mess around in between where bugs like to live. I am sure there is a way though, to cool your house and preheat your hot water at the same time. More difficult however in places where the well water and rain water is too warm to begin with, which are the places that need AC the most.
     
  5. Guy_Incognito

    Guy_Incognito Well-Known Member

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    All the DC airconditioners I've seen are of fairly low capacity - the largest I came across was 9000btu. Which would do a small bedroom alright on a hot muggy night, but not much else. Cooling a room down in the middle of the day on the sunny side of a house would be a bit of a struggle for it.

    It really depends on your climate and humidity.

    You might want to look into conventional inverter-style split systems - they can vary their compressor speed to suit the cooling load, throttling right off when needed. That way you can have a large surge capacity that is used for 20 minutes or so to pull the room temp down, after which it putts along at a minimal capacity.

    Another advantage of the inverter style units is that they can do soft-start, which eases the surge loading on your inverter/generator.