New solar technology being developed jointly by the U.S. Army and Conserval Engineering plugs into existing rooftop HVAC systems to both heat and cool commercial buildings. The technology, coined NightSolar, could offer energy savings and reductions to heating and cooling bills — and will place another tool in service technicians’ green tech belt.
NightSolar uses solar panels mounted on the roof of buildings with ample space to absorb heat during the day — similar to standard solar panel systems. What’s interesting, though, is the panels are capable of drawing warm air out of a building at night, mimicking the earth’s natural heat absorption and emission cycle. According to the company, NightSolar will satisfy a majority of a building’s nighttime cooling needs in warm, dry climates.
CNET’s Candace Lombardi cautions that the NightSolar product, while still under development, will offer only modest temperature regulation. Lombardi writes that NightSolar systems “can only chill air 10 degrees Fahrenheit below the building’s ambient temperature, and only works between sunset and sunrise, according to company statistics.”
The product won’t save your customers heaps of money or drastically reduce their energy consumption, but the two-way panels are an interesting business opportunity for prudent service organizations when they come to market.