Department of Energy Gives 91% Improvement Ratings for SunTrac Panel in Pilot Install

The SunTrac Solar Thermal SmartPanel now has a fully operational pilot installation in the Philippines at the Department of Energy in Taguig City, Philippines. Located at the 4th floor deck of the DOE Main Building, the SunTrac Panel has been efficiently supplementing a 4-Ton Daikin inverter air conditioner since it was installed in June 10, 2021.

The attached 4-Ton Daikin inverter unit only draws 1.78 amps with the SunTrac Panel

Data from the Daikin unit indicates an average amp draw of 1.78 A and kilowatt rating of 0.3905 kW, which are astoundingly low for a 4-Ton air conditioner. The DOE conducted a comparative study involving an identical Daikin AC unit and the results showed a percentage improvement of up to 91% for the Daikin unit with SunTrac.

From the outcome of this project, the SunTrac Solar Thermal SmartPanel is proven to yield significant savings in electricity costs from air conditioning and increases the performance efficiency of the air conditioner, thus, also minimizing compressor wear and tear and repair expenses.

The Department of Energy indicated a 91% improvement rating for an air conditioner with SunTrac

The Department of Energy — Energy Utilization Management Bureau released an official report documenting all of their findings from the SunTrac Pilot Project.

Based on the data, the ampere reading to deliver the room temperature from a reference supply air temperature decreased significantly with the enhancement provided by the Suntrac Solar Thermal SmartPanel (from an average of 10.605 amps, down to 1.78 amps with the enhancement). With Daikin 1, the difference between the supply air and set point temperatures is significantly low which is an indication that the compressor is working more efficiently in delivering the desired room temperature.

The succeeding table shows the actual improvement on the kW rating of the ACUs. Actual kW rating decreased by 1.943 kW on the average from 2.333 kW to 0.3905.

Excerpt from DOE’s official report

Download the full official report of the Department of Energy for the SunTrac Solar Thermal SmartPanel pilot installation:

Comparative Study

This study involved the monitoring and gathering of comparative data from two air conditioners with identical outdoor units (Daikin 3.5 TR, Model: RZR125MVM). The main air conditioning unit is attached to the 8 x 4 feet SunTrac Solar Thermal SmartPanel, while the comparative unit is operating on its own.

Data was gathered once a day over two phases, each consisting of five consecutive workdays. In the first phase, the temperature set point (independent variable) of the air conditioning units was set to 25°C. This was subsequently lowered to 24°C in the second phase to further observe differences in performance.

With the SunTrac Solar Thermal SmartPanel, the main air conditioning unit only drew a little above one (1) amp through most of the evaluation period. It exhibited a steady amp draw, even when the temperature set point was lowered (from 25°C to 24°C) in the second phase of the study. These are remarkable results for a 3.5 TR air conditioner, which would normally draw 15 amps on its own.

On the contrary, the comparative unit without SunTrac recorded a fluctuating and increasing amp draw across the ten-day period. It went as high as 21.5 amps on Day 9 and exhibited dramatic dips and spikes especially after the adjustment of the set point.

From these findings, there is a significant difference in amp draw between the main air conditioning unit with SunTrac and the comparative unit which operates on its own.

A smaller difference between the temperatures of an air conditioner’s supply air and that of the surroundings (room temperature) translates to a more efficient system and is better for the unit’s overall performance.

A high variance between the supply air and room temperatures can mean that the unit’s compressor is overworked, which speeds up its wear and tear.

JEBSCO Mechanical, Primary Design and Build Partner

NIDON Clean Energy welcomes JEBSCO Mechanical, Inc. as a primary design and build partner. JEBSCO’s expertise in commercial and residential HVAC and solar thermal technology is a major value-add as NIDON continues to scale and expand its business into new frontiers.

JEBSCO-Logo-750x600JEBSCO is the HVAC contractor behind the 30-Ton Carrier chiller project that logged an astounding 75% decrease in amp draw by running at a mere average of 15 – 16 amps. It is also the first commercial chiller installation in the world that efficiently runs with the SunTrac Solar Thermal SmartPanel.

Aside from being an authorized installer of SunTrac, JEBSCO is a certified Carrier Hawaii dealer and installer (License # CT-33868).

Unparalleled efficiency from SunTrac and 30 Ton chiller install

In December 2019, NIDON Clean Energy completed a breakthrough installation involving a 30 Ton Carrier chiller and four 8-foot SunTrac panels. This unit, located in the Honolulu Harbor in Hawaii, became the first active chiller in the world that runs with the SunTrac Solar Thermal SmartPanel™ and now reflects record-breaking amperage readings as a result.

This chiller is rated to typically draw about 63 amps but with supplementary power from the SunTrac panels, the load across three days in 28°C experienced a 75% decrease with a near steady state amp draw of 16 amps:

eGauge data for 30-Ton Carrier chiller with SunTrac (3d, Auto)
eGauge meter reading across three days (April 18 to April 21, 12:10 PM HST)

Timestamps reflected on the above data captures follow local Philippine time (PHT) and is to be adjusted back 18 hours to depict actual amp draw with respect to time of day in Honolulu, Hawaii (HST). Follow this link for live meter readings: eGauge Data for 30 Ton Carrier Chiller (To view amp data specific to activity from the SunTrac panels, scroll down to the control box and uncheck all boxes except for CT3, CT1, and CT2 Amperage.)

Along with the massive drop in amp draw, there is a corresponding decrease in the work being conducted by the unit’s digital scroll compressor leading to a significant reduction in the machine’s wear and tear on top of substantial electrical cost savings.

Data is being tracked and recorded by an eGauge metering device in a three-phase configuration and placed inside an outdoor-rated enclosure:

Update: Efficiency data across two weeks

Below is a screen capture of meter readings for the first two weeks of recording with the eGauge. The compressor amp draw still averages at 15-16 amps, with significant dips between midnight and dawn due to the cooler ambient temperature.

eGauge data for 30-Ton Carrier chiller with SunTrac (2w, Auto)
eGauge meter reading across two weeks (April 17 to May 1, 12:10 PM HST)


Update: One month’s worth of meter readings

A month of meter readings shows amp draw still at an average of 15-16 amps.

eGauge data for 30-Ton Carrier chiller with SunTrac (1mo, Auto)
eGauge meter reading in one month (April 17 to May 17, 12:05 PM HST)
EDIT: During a recent swap back testing, it was discovered that the setup of the eGauge recorded lower than the actual amp readings. This was determined while working with Carrier as to how digital scroll compressors work.

This chiller is rated to typically draw about 63 amps but with supplementary power from the SunTrac panels, the load across three days in 28°C experienced a 57% decrease with an average of 27 amps, plus or minus of 2.5 amps. 

NIDON Clean Energy unlocks commercial cooling market with breakthrough install

NIDON Clean Energy has just completed the first SunTrac installation on a commercial chiller system.

Located in Honolulu, Hawaii, this 30 Ton Carrier chiller is the first active chiller in the world that runs with the SunTrac Solar Thermal SmartPanel™.

30 Ton Carrier chiller with 4 SunTrac panels
30 Ton Carrier chiller with 4 SunTrac panels at Honolulu Harbor, Hawaii, USA

The recorded amp draw by compressors post-installation is reduced significantly. Energy savings will correspond with amperage drop to the compressors, along with reduced wear.

For the Hawaii market, this is foundational to achieving the Hawaii Clean Energy Initiative which aims to achieve 100% renewable energy reliance by 2045. SunTrac has been successfully deployed across Hawaii on all major brands of air conditioning, to now include commercial systems. The technology reduces demand charges and electrical usage, leading to less land for solar, wind, and battery, protecting the people and the beauty of the islands in the process.

Related post: Unparalleled efficiency from SunTrac and 30 Ton chiller install

  • Newly available meter readings from the commercial chiller indicate a substantial decrease in amp draw at a temperature set point of 28°C.

Solar thermal technology accepted by next-gen QC City Architect team

Last October 25, 2019, we talked about hybrid solar thermal technology and sustainable cooling with the City Architect Department of Quezon City.

It was an insightful afternoon marked by an exchange of ideas and practical applications with the department, which was composed mainly of next-generation architects and engineers.

The discussion revolved around a common theme, that much can be gained by new and existing developments from breakthrough innovations in renewable energy.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.