Exciting things are happening in the world of solar energy as capabilities reach new levels. Innovators at the National Autonomous University of Mexico have created a system that pushes the heating and cooling capacities of solar power. Even more, the lowest temperatures successfully refrigerate food! Here is an excerpt:
The team of researchers at UNAM’s Renewable Energies Institute (IER) is led by Dr. Wilfrido Rivera Gómez Franco, who said the system can raise water temperature from 20 to 110 degrees C, or reduce it to below 0.
What makes it different from conventional domestic cooling systems, like those found in fridges and air conditioning units, is that Rivera’s foregoes the use of a compressor connected to the power grid and relies solely on solar energy. It also uses ammonia as the refrigerant.
It may sound paradoxical, but with our array of solar panels we manage to harness the sun’s energy and create cold with it,” said Rivera.
Currently, the project’s set-up includes a 60-square-meter solar array, which produces enough energy to cool or heat an 80-square-meter room.
The developers are currently focusing on evaluating the system’s performance under several temperature conditions and refining their control over it. The next stage would be to install it in the real-world environment of one of the institution’s laboratories.