Solar cooling strikes the right tone

BTC's test site installation
BTC’s test site installation

BAHAMAS: A system combining two-stage air conditioners with solar thermal collectors is said to be making huge savings at the hq of the Bahamas Telecommunications Company.

As a result, the company has signed a $3.2m deal to install the SolarCool air conditioning systems across more of its Bahamian locations over the coming months.

The key element is the integrated solar thermal collector which super-heats the air conditioning system’s refrigerant, reducing the required work load of the compressor.

The trial system was installed in May 2014 and then with BTC’s engineers, Powerplus Bahamas, to conduct their own testing over the following six months.

“We projected an energy efficiency of around 50% at the outset. However, at the follow up meeting, they told us we were way out,” revealed Greg Uptagrafft of Powerplus Bahamas. “Our test system performance was much higher than this and totally smashed our projections and, more importantly, BTC’s expectations.”

Developed in the US, SolarCool was introduced to the European market via Sedna Aire UK Ltd in mid 2014, and is since said to have enjoyed rapid success in the ever-growing energy efficiency industry. Solarcool already has installations across the UK, Italy, Malta, Estonia, Germany, Spain and Ireland. Further installations are pending over the next couple of months in Gibraltar, Morocco, France, Portugal & Cyprus – including installations via facilities management company Sodexho throughout the UK Military of Defence bases on the island.

Mark Crabtree, md of international Business for Sedna revealed that agreement has just been reached to test systems with two of the top four UK supermarkets on refrigeration.

Chris Micallef, UK technical director added “We have had efficiencies as high as 74% on staged and digital scroll refrigeration when the sun is out. We all know the UK benefits from less sun than the majority of Europe but we still experience an average of well over four hours a day. Additionally, and as importantly for the supermarket industry, the fact is the hotter it gets the more efficient SolarCool becomes. Therefore summer maintenance issues become a thing of the past.”

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