Solar AC freezes your summer electric bill

A Chinese appliance maker has found a way to power window air conditioners with solar energy, sending excess power back into the grid.

A conventional Gree high efficiency air conditioner. The first 50,000 solar models will be sold in the United States, according to the company.

Feel free to turn down your thermostat. A Chinese appliance manufacturer has invented a solar powered window air conditioner unit that can send its surplus power back into the grid, according to UPI wire reports.

Window AC units are a mainstay of sticky summer months throughout much of the United States, but even the most energy efficient models can take a bite out of your wallet.

China’s Gree Electric Appliances believes that its planned photovoltaic cooling units could upend the economics of staying cool, and would appeal to American pocket books. The advent of smart grid also plays in its favor.

Several U.S. utilities, including New York’s Con Edison, are preparing new technologies that would allow customers to contribute excess renewable energy back to the grid.

Gree’s existing model only uses electricity when solar power is unable to meet peak demand; a 2011 reissue will be 100 percent solar powered. There was no word on pricing or availability, although; the existing models on that market are somewhat pricey.

Anyone would be happy to trim down their summer electric bill, but I wonder how many cycles would have to pass before there was any payback on the AC's cost.

This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com