A Dichotomy of Facts?
At the recently concluded International Builders’ Show (IBS) in Las Vegas, where Kingtec Solar exhibited several of its super-efficient solar air-conditions, there was a remarkable dichotomy of sustainable power ideas that were being presented to home builders, buyers and the construction industry at large. While we at Kingtec preached the universally accepted gospel of “Get Off The Grid”, others sold the PV Grid-Tie “Stay On The Grid” mantra as the true path to sustainable power salvation.
Given the state of our aging power generation and distribution infrastructure today, we are absolutely convinced that going solar is the only way to implement truly sustainable energy policies. Trying to convince people to “Stay On The GRID”, even in the face of horrendous blackouts and perpetually rolling brownouts globally, may not be the “Smart” thing to do!
As a planet, we are using more energy today than we’ve ever before. According to the U.S. Energy Information Agency newer, more “efficient” homes are consuming as much energy as older homes, despite all the “Smart technology” invested in them. The real solution might therefore be a an integrated “Smart Solar Air Conditioning” model, which is a combination of PV Grid Tie system and Off grid System Integration.
The Air-Conditioned Grid Lock
According At the U.S. Energy Information Administration, 23% of electricity used by homes in 2011 was consumed by Air Conditioning. Barring other appliances and lighting, ACs account for the biggest use of power in U.S. homes today. And these usage patterns are not just restricted to the US. The hunger for these power-hogging appliances is insatiable across the globe. The statistics from around the world are undeniable:
- 1) A 2009 Residential Energy Consumption Survey (RECS)indicates that now, almost 87% of U.S. homes have ACs
- 2) The sales of air-conditions in India have jumped over 17% over the last 3 years
- 3) Boasting an AC market of over 2-trillion yen, and nearly 20% of global AC demand, China is set to outrank the U.S as the biggest AC-based consumer of electricity by 2020
No matter how hard you try to teach our aging power grids to work “smart”, the ever increasing demand for air conditioning isn’t going away soon. So, instead of paying billions of dollars in tax-payer subsidies for giant conglomerates to outsmart a problem that will perpetually grow in the coming decade, we need to think “Smart Solar AC” as the only way to address this challenge in the foreseeable future.
Missing The Point
In the long term, perhaps “Smart Grids” may be the answer to the world’s environmental pollution problem. But why wait for a decade or so to address the issue with technologies that are still in the lab. Harmful CO2 emissions and Greenhouse Gasses (GHGs) aren’t smart enough to pause until technology catches up with them. As more air conditions flood our markets, the negative impacts of Ozone-depleting pollutants will continue to take their toll on the global ecosystem, while busy conglomerate executives jet-set around the globe (adding to CO2 emissions!) making their pitches for more grants and more tax-payer funded subsidies.
“Smart Grid” technology peddlers are totally missing the point on the gravity of the situation we’re faced with TODAY. Their solution is to make “smarter” use of electricity in the home. But as we heard first-hand at IBS (read all about it: Solar Air-Conditioning – Power To The People), what do you do when there’s no power coming INTO your home in the first place. How do you deal “smartly” with that situation? Or, as air condition users from the Caribbean asked: What’s the “smart” thing to do if it costs more to run an AC on the grid than it costs to buy one?
The “Smart” thing to do is to get air condition users off the grid NOW, not in several years from today. And the technologies to do that are available TODAY. Kingtec demonstrated our amazing K25Z-4 at IBS for instance. A solar-powered air condition that’s capable of running at an amazing 18.8 E.E.R off the grid. That’s a stunning 180% more efficient than a conventional “energy efficient” 2-ton split ductless unit. If there’s anything “smart” about sustainable power solutions, then Smart Solar powered air-conditions like the K25Z-4 are it!