Coupling cooling loads with solar generation

Overview of the status and impact of the innovation



Given the close match between the profiles of solar generation and cooling demand, energy planners can help meet cooling demand (especially as it increases) by deploying additional PV systems. In particular, energy planners can identify suitable rooftops or other surfaces for PV systems and ensure that the electricity grid is capable of integrating large numbers of distributed solar PV arrays.


Effective deployment of solar energy would significantly decarbonise the cooling supply. It could also reduce dependence on the grid, increasing resilience and enabling people in remote locations with unreliable grid access to use cooling systems for critical purposes such as refrigerating food or medicines.

BOX 6.16 Coupling cooling loads and solar PV generation in Arizon

Figure 6.10 shows the correlation between seasonal and daily demands and PV electricity yield in an Arizona county. The Figure illustrates how solar generation can meet 55% of the cooling electricity demand on an hourly basis (Laine et al., 2019). Even more of the demand could be met if buildings were pre-cooled during the sunniest hours, taking advantage of the buildings’ thermal storage capabilities.

FIGURE 6.10 AC demand and PV electricity yield in Maricopa County, Arizona, 2010

Notes: AC = alternating current; GW = gigawatt; PV = photovoltaics.

Power to heat and cooling innovations

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