SM20: Research into PV cells powering small-scale air-conditioning units

Miroslav Capko, Teacher, Sydney TAFE

With electricity prices on the rise and temperatures reaching record values due to climate change, it is becoming ever more apparent that a reduction in the electricity consumption of air conditioning systems is required. Our project ‘Stand-alone Solar Powered Air-Conditioning System’ aims to address this problem by analysing the feasibility of running a system with renewable energy that is generated on-site.

The system uses a Programmable Logic Controller (PLC) and inverter which allows the research team to collect data in real time. This data shows how the system performs when influenced by external factors such as weather and temperature. From this, we are then able to determine what the minimum requirements are to adequately cool and heat the building.

Our results will provide good indication of what the future may hold for PV powered air conditioning systems, for both small-scale (residential and light commercial) and large-scale applications.



Miroslav Capko has over 15 years of experience in HVAC industry, as qualified refrigeration and air-conditioning technician and supervisor. Miroslav completed his trade qualification at the School of Electrical Engineering in Novi Sad (Serbia). After moving to Australia in 2008, he obtained Certificate III and a Diploma of Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning Engineering at Sydney TAFE.

Since 2011, Miroslav has been teaching at Sydney TAFE delivering various courses in the HVAC&R industry, ranging from Certificate II to Diploma level. In 2015, he also worked as Instructional Designer for MEE (Manufacturing, Engineering & Electrotechnology) Faculty at Sydney TAFE, developing a range of online and paper-based resources for various trade areas within the faculty.

Besides teaching, Miroslav regularly works on installation and commissioning of commercial AC and ventilation systems (e.g. for hospitals, office buildings etc.) with a particular focus on control systems (DDC).



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