First DC-Powered High SEER Air Conditioner Introduced
Jan 26, 2010
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Solar Panels Plus (SPP), a manufacturer of solar water heaters, solar air conditioning/heating systems, and photovoltaic solar panels, has released the SplitCool DC18, reportedly the world’s first and only DC-powered, high SEER air-conditioning system. The SplitCool DC18 is designed for any commercial or residential location where cooling or heating is required and grid power is unavailable, unreliable, or requires generators (with potentially complex or costly refueling logistics).

The air-conditioner runs off a battery bank that is supplied power from an array of photovoltaic panels and installs without ducts, eliminating the majority of installation and materials costs. The unit can be added to an existing structure and is said to eliminate nearly 30% of cooling or heating losses that occur in the ductwork of forced-air systems. It allows each room to be conditioned as a separate zone.

“High-efficiency SplitCool DC18 units will dramatically lower the total system cost for running an air conditioner from solar panels, by eliminating the bulk of installation work required by competitive units and by using fewer solar panels and a lower battery requirement,” said John Williams, chief operating officer. “Unlike the SplitCool DC18, most normal air conditioners simply turn on and off based on the thermostat, and this normal ‘on-off-on-off’ approach is very wasteful of electricity because it is not always necessary to run the at full speed.”

Other features include a remote compressor, which is said to make the unit significantly quieter and does not require a large hole in exterior walls. It also allows an interior room without an exterior wall to be cooled up to 50 feet away. The unit uses four or more 12 volt standard deep cycle batteries.

The SplitCool DC18 uses a brushless, permanent magnet DC motor with a digital frequency driver that allows it to size itself dynamically based on load with a variable speed and variable refrigerant flow compressor.

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