Solar cooling is a young technology that allows the production of cold, in the form of chilled water or air conditioning, starting from a heat source and combining thermal solar panels with a refrigeration machine.
The operating system is very simple: the thermal panels absorb solar radiation and transfer it to fluids such as water or air, which in turn provides energy to special refrigeration machines used to cool rooms or produce cold water.
Solar cooling is a particularly efficient technology since it is more available precisely in the summer period when the demand for electricity reaches extreme peaks due to the excessive use of traditional air conditioners: the great advantage of solar cooling lies in the contemporaneity of solar radiation and refrigeration needs. The energy produced is directly exploited because this contemporaneity is both seasonal and daily. In addition to energy savings, there are other advantages in using this technology such as reducing polluting emissions and CO2 in the atmosphere, silence, and durability. In fact, this solution has spread in recent years parallel to the development of air conditioners in summer months.
On the other hand, “solar cooling” technology still records rather low levels of diffusion on the market and is little (or not) known to end-users, designers, and installers. Considering the high costs and typically high sizes that characterize the refrigeration machines used, today solar cooling can only be implemented for large centralized air conditioning systems.
The causes of this poor diffusion are perhaps attributable to some “limitations” mainly related to poor knowledge of technology and the low number of applications present in buildings: it is thought that the presence of state incentives can help increase the diffusion of such a system.