We are developing new technologies and systems which use solar thermal energy to provide low-emission cooling (or heating) for buildings, and refrigeration for food storage.

The challenge

Finding new ways to lower building emissions

Finding new ways to lower emissions in buildings is a significant challenge. But solar cooling is likely to be an important component of future zero-emissions buildings and may also play a role in reducing peak demand on the electricity grid.

Our response

Developing new solar cooling technologies

Solar cooling uses abundant solar thermal energy to power a thermally-driven cooling process and displace electricity consumption. By displacing fossil fuel derived electricity in the cooling cycle, solar cooling is likely to be an important component of future zero-emissions buildings and may also play a role in reducing peak demand on the electricity grid.

Solar air conditioning

Solar cooling uses concentrated solar thermal energy to power a thermally-driven cooling process. A solar cooling system consists of:

  • solar thermal collectors that capture heat from the sun
  • absorption cooling machine to convert heat to cooling. Depending on the application, this could be an absorption chiller, an adsorption chiller or a desiccant cooler.

We are developing a new desiccant solar cooling system for home use. A solar desiccant cooling system has been tested in real conditions at the Hunter TAFE campus in New South Wales.

360 virtual tours

You are invited to have a look around our Controlled Climate Test Facility (CCTF) with a 360 degree virtual tour to find out more about our solar cooling work.

You can also take an interactive 360 degree self-navigated photo tour of the CCTF with more technical information on how our research is helping to deliver better energy efficiency for government and industry.

Visit our Heating, Ventilation and Air-conditioning (HVAC) Performance Test Facility to learn about the evaluation of both conventional and solar-powered air-conditioning systems.

Or take our 360 degree self-navigated photo tour, which gives you more time to explore its technical capabilities.

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