Solar power ACs could be next big thing in Pakistan

Published: October 3, 2013
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The first shipment of the products is expected in Pakistan in mid-November. PHOTO: MIDEA

The first shipment of the products is expected in Pakistan in mid-November. PHOTO: MIDEA

ISLAMABAD: With a serious power crisis and rising fuel prices, Pakistan’s industry appears to be looking toward alternative solutions to overcome its energy needs. The industry’s predicament also seems to have piqued the interest of foreign companies trying to find new markets for their eco-friendly, energy-efficient products.

One such example is the Chinese multinational Midea Commercial Air Conditioner (CAC), which has announced it will be distributing three new “green, energy-efficient” solutions for the Pakistani Heating, Ventilation and Air-conditioning (HVAC) industry.

The products, which fall under Midea’s MDV brand, include a solar-powered air-conditioner, a DC Inverter Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF) system and a “Dual Storage Full Falling-Film Centrifugal Chiller.”

At a seminar in Islamabad on Wednesday, representatives of the Midea Group and its distributing partner in Pakistan, said the first shipment of the products is expected in Pakistan in mid-November.

“I think there is a growing demand for air-conditioners in Pakistan but at the same time there is a shortage of fuel and electricity,” said Dennis Lee, director Africa and South Asia of Midea CAC’s Global Sales. “So the Pakistani industry stands to benefit from energy-saving products.”

Assistant General Manager of Business Development at EES, Adnan Hamid, said energy has become a concern not just for Pakistan but also for the countries around the world. Hamid said there is a need to look toward alternative energy sources and environment-friendly solutions.

Beck Zhao, a Midea CAC representative, claimed MDV’s solar air-conditioner, when coupled with a two-panel DC inverter, could give energy savings of up to 78%. He added that the coefficient of performance for the company’s new chiller design is 7.06, which he said was higher than the efficiency of competitive designs.

Fahad Hasan, an engineer working with YH Associates, said 60% of electricity utilised in a building is used by HVAC systems. He said the need for energy-efficient industrial solutions is not only necessitated by the need for sustainability but also by scarcity of energy resources. Hasan said energy-efficient building design is “a wise investment,” not a “cost.”

Published in The Express Tribune, October 3rd, 2013.

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Reader Comments (8)

  • Humayun
    Oct 3, 2013 - 5:28AM

    Good – I hope this is not a Trading Venture – Hope the solution means Local Manufacturing and Job Creation

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  • Nida Khan
    Oct 3, 2013 - 10:54AM

    Agree with @Humayun.

    Also, it will be great if we can have residential solutions. Like home air-conditioners running on solar energy!

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  • Bashir
    Oct 3, 2013 - 11:02AM

    Any idea of its price and how many BTU ?

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  • Kashan Ahmed
    Oct 3, 2013 - 1:29PM

    LG, Panasonic, Haier and other leading brands have introduced Inverter based Air Conditioners. The problem with non-inverter A.C is that it has a huge torque load or starting current, ranging up to 11 amp, which is when converted to wattage, comes to around 2500 Watts roughly. If the non inverter based A.C is run on solar system, it would require panels of almost 4200 watts, which make it highly non feasible. The inverter based a.c has negligible torque load and it takes maximum of 5-6 amps of current. So it can easily be run on Solar System without much cost.

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  • MJ
    Oct 3, 2013 - 9:56PM

    Sounds like an agenda to push a handpicked company. I will believe that this is a sincere effort when the low cost solar powered tandoors, ovens and stoves etc. that are being used all over the world are introduced in Pakistan. If we can provide low cost cooking solutions to the poor we can greatly decrease the environment impact of cooking as well as provide a boost to the economy.

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  • unbelievable
    Oct 4, 2013 - 1:32AM

    Unlikely – anyone familiar with solar knows that a two panel system won’t provide sufficient AC to run even a tiny air conditioner for any length of time even with large battery bank and efficient inverter. RV’s have been using solar for years and nobody depends on solar to run their air conditioners other than for a very short period of time. Should Pakistan use more solar – you bet – but remember it has limitations.

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  • Ashkenazi
    Oct 5, 2013 - 9:03AM

    Do everything except coal fired plants.

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  • Bob
    Oct 6, 2013 - 10:42PM

    Pakistan has extremely large reserves of coal in the Thar area. This is enough to meet the national energy demand for the next 100+ years.

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