SA Government to fund enviro technology

$200k on the table for solar-thermal technology to address rising peak energy demands

The South Australian government is turning to residential solar thermal air-conditioning technologies in a bid to get slash its rapidly growing peak electricity needs.

The government has put $200,000 on the table in an effort to convince SA industry to develop a prototype residential solar air conditioner driven by the heat from solar thermal collectors.

According to SA government documents, the peak electricity load in the state has grown by 20 per cent in the last three years, driven almost entirely by the use of residential air conditioners.

“The cost of this demand has been realised in the form of increased demand for peaking power generation and electrical network upgrades in the state, and a significant proportion of these costs are spread across consumers as a whole and not just purchasers of air-conditioning systems,” the documents read.

“The development of a solar air-conditioning industry in South Australia for residential consumers could assist in reducing the growth in peak demand.”

While solar thermal air-conditioning is available for use in industrial and commercial settings, it has to date not been widely applied to the residential sector.

“Current absorption or adsorption technologies are based on chilled air,” the documents read. “This suits larger scale applications with air handling units very well.

“In residential applications the extra cost for the air handling unit, as well as the complexity and bulkiness of the systems, make those chillers unsuitable for small applications.”

Earlier this month the Australian solar technology sector got a boost with the official opening of Silex Systems Sydney Olympic Park solar panel manufacturing facility.

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Mazdak S. Afshar


I know some Chinese manufacturers claim that they designed and manufactured solar assisted split type air conditioners.These units have a small solar collector on front of an split type(vapor compression) condensing unit.But they haven't any technical document which describe how technically these air conditioners work.

They claim that these air conditioners reduce 25-40% of electricity consumption.



Jason Meiklejohn


I am a Director of a company that is distributing solar thermal air conditioning systems that utilise flat plate technology. If you visit or web site, you can see the full range of systems available that can be used in domestic as well as commercial applications.

I do not understand why the SA government is investing development in this industry when we are already selling a product that addresses their needs. We are already selling this product internationally. I would be more then happy to answer any questions that people may have on this topic if the visit our web site.


D Newman


I have often asked myself the same question, here in WA we have 300 days of sunshine at least (Perth), and yet even solar water heaters arnt that common.
And then they ask about building or extending the life of Gas and coal power stations, is the coal/energy sectors forcing policy onto the state and fed level, because I know 2 people who are now running all there power usage for free day time, and with small surplus pays 1/12 of the night, with the use of roof solar panels.

It does look butt ugly I give you that, but surely thats not the only reason.

Simon Johnston


There is another company claiming to be the pioneer in solar air cons in Australia. I strongly contest their claim simply because their claims are very inconsistent. They are based in Brisbane and honestly I wish someone from Fair Trading looks into this "questionable" product. Is this aircon really made out to save "80% of power costs?" Beware buyers out there.....

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