Call for solar powered air conditioning

Thursday, 12 January, 2006


Archicentre, the building advisory service of the Royal Australian Institute of Architects, has called on the Federal Government to set up a solar powered air conditioning task force on the eve of the International Greenhouse Conference being held in Sydney.

Archicentre believes that air conditioners that run on solar power should become a compulsory part of Australia's residential and commercial building projects.

Robert Caulfield, managing director of Archicentre, said: "With increasing temperatures due to climate change we need to be implementing a solar powered air conditioning strategy nationally with the latest existing technology and new technology yet to be developed.

"Energy authorities have been warning for years that the explosion of power hungry air conditioners in Australia threatens the stability of the electrical grid during peak power demands in summer."

"When this demand is at its highest, potential solar energy supply is also at its highest level. This is a natural association.

Caulfield said the Government had just announced a $30 million research project to bury carbon dioxide through geosequestration. He speculated that this move suggests governments are committed to burning more coal rather than looking at creative 21st technologies.

He further added that this is confirmation that Australia is addicted to coal and it is like telling a smoker to cut back from 40 a day to 35 (cigarettes) and use filter tips rather than suggesting they quit.

"Our energy and climate problems are a clear and present danger and one has to ask the question why all of the Government-funded agencies supposed to be dealing with issues of the greenhouse have not been coming forward with a plan to develop solar powered air conditioners."

Australia has a fantastic opportunity to develop and paten new non fossil fuel technologies that have world wide applications.

Caulfied said that every member of parliament in Australia should spend five minutes searching 'solar powered air conditioners' on Google (an internet search engine) to see the plethora of information and products available.

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