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Sharp Corporation Launching DC-Powered Air Conditioner This Year

One of the top consumer electronics companies in the world, Sharp Corporation, is planning to release a DC-powered air conditioner sometime this year (within 2015), according to recent reports.

The newly announced product will apparently represent just the first product in Sharp’s new “DC Appliance” range of offerings. The announcement follows a long wait initially triggered by the company’s announcement back in 2011 that it was developing DC (direct current electricity) home appliances. The announcement was made following a question posed to company reps by Nikkei Electronics.

For those without much background in the subject, the potential consumer advantages of DC-powered electronics mostly stem from the fact that they can potentially be powered directly by solar photovoltaic (PV) panels/modules — rather than there being the requirement of routing the solar PV modules through an inverter.

This ability to get around the use of an inverter (and the transformation to alternating current, rather than direct) means that conversion efficiency losses — which are as high as 10% in many solar PV setups — can be avoided completely. This means big savings for many solar PV system owners. Air conditioners, in particular, represent quite the energy hog, and energy savings of as much as 10% could represent huge reductions in cost, especially for businesses.

Speaking for myself here, this is one of the rare consumer products (other than solar PV modules themselves) that I have a genuine interest in. It’ll be interesting to see how pricing works out — that is always the rub, after all; no matter how good something sounds, the price needs to be right. Anyone else excited?

Image Credit: Sharp Corporation

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Written By

James Ayre's background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy.


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