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Solar Air Conditioner Is Too Good To Be True

The Coolerado air conditioner sounds like a technological marvel. It only draws 600 watts, compared to 6,000 for standard air conditioner. It doesn’t use compressors. The only moving parts are the intake fan and a valve inside, both of which are powered by solar panels that Coolerado installs with its AC. So it’s renewable and clean, right?

Well, except for one little detail – the Coolerado draws four gallons of water every hour that it operates. In their promotional video, Coolderado brushes this off by saying “it’s just like taking an extra shower or two every day”. That’s a really lame way of covering up the fact that instead of sucking electricity, this air conditioner sucks water. As much as I worry about the grid being strained by AC units, I can only imagine the horror the water utility would face if suddenly everyone who wanted air conditioning was using an extra shower or two’s worth of water.

This is greenwashing at its worst. Sometimes a company will claim that its product is green when it is just an ordinary product. But this goes beyond that – the Coolerado is arguably much more environmentally taxing than a regular air conditioner, yet its sellers will try and convince you that it is renewable, sustainable, and, above all, the right choice for a green consumer.

Don’t believe them.

Via Cleantechnica

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Comments (50)Add Comment
well... not really true
written by Mika Sjöman, March 05, 2009
For example, Sweden can at times be shit hot. BUT - we also got shitloads of water in our country. In my country I would rather use this one, and save some nuclear/coal power.
Just suppose...
written by Kevin, March 05, 2009
So this thing sucks water and warms it up to cool the air?

Suppose I actually wanted some warm water for some purpose, like, I don't know, taking a shower maybe?

Suppose I stored the look here cialis to order output from this machine in a tank, some sort of tank of hot water, like, a hot water tank maybe?

Then I guess I'd save even more energy, and not use any more water, right?
It can be Green
written by Alex O, March 05, 2009
OK...i don't see the problem. Gray water can be used, and can help heat the hot water heater. The only electricity I can think of, that is extra to the actual machinery, is a pump to get it up there on the roof.
written by bill, March 05, 2009
The article supplies no details, but it sounds like a swamp cooler (old technology).
Why not prop this solution instead of di
written by Martin, March 05, 2009
Clearly the people who build Coolerado did so with the environment in mind. The alternative is to continue using the 6K watt units. As a number of people had already pointed out, there are very good applications of this sort of solution.

It would be a more useful article if there were more details about it. Does this unit consume this water, or is it turned into waste-water? If the latter, its only wasteful if it is dumped into the sewers.

EcoGeek's mission seems to be a little muddled if it is seeking out eco-solutions only to shame them.
written by joel, March 05, 2009
I live in a rain forest, so i have all the water we could ever want but what good is it if its polluted????? we need to protect our clean water. anything that uses water is a maintenance nightmare. overpriced swamp cooler.
written by joel, March 05, 2009
Their is better and uses solar/wind hybrid system. No water and it really keeps you cool and warm. A 9000 BTU airconditioner only 300 watts of power and usefull link viagra side effects a 18000 BTU one at 600 watts. Thats an 1100 sq ft area. Uses earth friendly R410.
how is this not a swamp cooler?
written by kynes, March 05, 2009
So remind me how this isn't a swamp cooler that is already being used in parched desert areas like Tucson and Phoenix and has been for a very long time? Also I don't think water is wasted quite the same way as electricity I mean, where does it go? I assume it doesnt molecularly deconstruct the water, so why can't you catch it and re use it?
Cool Innovation
written by addtree, March 05, 2009
I remember that my first ever cell phone is far away from my recent one, so I believe that in near future - this innovation would be improved to be better, since people like it and need it much.
+++support my 'blogging for a thousand tree' by making support back link to
written by Christopher Reeve, March 05, 2009
This unit does not make water hot or dirty. It simply evaporates the water over a large (folded) surface area with the aid of a fan. I agree that the water consumption is a problem, but only if there is a short supply of water. The amount of power used by using drinking water I calculate to be about 2 Watts, which is small. I imagine that using rain or river water might be a problem unless it is filtered as this would bung up the evaporator. Even with hard water I very much doubt it would last long with out having to be serviced.
Best used with Geothermal?
written by dbwilma, March 05, 2009
If that water was in a geothermal loop being cooled by there earth it might be a better alternative than the regular heat pumps used.

Just a thought.
There are actual solar air conditioners
written by BruceMcF, March 05, 2009
... that work on the principle of using solar heat to drive humidity out of a dessicant, which is then cycled around to dehumidify air, and then an evaporative cooler is used to cool the air.

Those do not seem to be "ready for prime time" technology yet, but there have certainly been trial installations.

Here in Ohio, much of the air conditioning load could be reduced by simply getting that dehumidifier stage going ... the temperature that is comfortable in the shade with ceiling fans going is much higher at 30% humidity than at 90% humidity. Raise the thermostat to 80, have a geothermal loop, and have the sun dehumidify the air, and a substantial reduction in cooling electricity load might be gained without relying on a swamp cooler to do it.

Great. Simply awesome. Water? Yeah... Uh
written by hyperspaced, March 05, 2009
That's a great humidifier! Handy for dry (desert) climate, but not so good for people with heart condition for all other climates.


I can't believe we actually bother with it...
written by Alex O, March 05, 2009
Where its hot there is usually sun...
and as I said, the water doesn't have to be new water, its just being a heat sink of sorts, it might actually help to be a little contaminated.
It could certainly work on graywater! DU
written by Ivan, March 05, 2009
maybe even be made so as to recycle a part of the graywater into pure drinking water! it ought to be some kind of evaporation device...
and let's not forget that making 5kW more of electricity also uses water unless it's solar... and only photovoltaic... or wind...
written by Jacob, March 05, 2009
If you consult the Rocky Mountain Institute here in Colorado, they will say the lowest prices for professional cialis an AC unit that uses compressors and refrigerant will use more water than an evaporative if its electricity is coming from a power plant that uses steam powered turbines. Just a little food for thought.
written by Green Star, March 05, 2009
Ya know, if the product only uses the water and removes the cold from it and then flushes it, I don't see why this could not be hooked in line with a solar hot water heater as a pre heater of sorts, then the water would be used more than once and not simply flushed.
Just Dig a Well
written by Kevin Greer, March 05, 2009
Doesn't it only cost a couple hundred dollars to dig a well? No need to use treated water for your AC, to water your lawn, or to fill your ice rink (of course, the real best thing would be to not do/have these things). Wouldn't it be better for the environment if more houses had wells instead of relying on municipal water for every application.
Not a heat sink
written by Duncan, March 05, 2009
I think a lot of you don't understand. The water is not a heat sink. It takes the heat away by evaporating, a working fluid is run through a condensor that has water on the outside. As the water evaporates it cools the wine mixed with tramadol working fluid. The unit will only work where it is dry and works better the higher the altitude- like in Colorado where this type of unit is common. Whatever is dissolved in the water is left on the condensor so the unit goes through a cycle where it washes down the condensor using even more water and flushing out water with a higher level of whatever dissolved solids.

Author needs do a little fact checking.
written by steve, March 05, 2009
Well the author forgot one huge use of water that is not accounted for. The average amount of water used to generate electricity is about a half gallon per KW. Most of this is used for cooling. Hydro uses a lot more in the form of evaporation. So a 6000 watt air conditioner would use about 3 gallons an hour in water for electricity generation. So if this unit was on for say 10 hours a day then it would use less than 3% of the average household water use for maybe 4 months a year. Hardly a huge use of water. Not flushing the toilet a couple of times a day would make up for this very quickly.
Simple swamp cooler
written by Doug, March 05, 2009
These type of cooling devices are already widely commercialized. This is just a solar-powered one. If this device replaced all of the current installations, it would improve the drug cialis grid without adding to the water problem. Agreed, water is an issue, but this doesn't seem particularly controversial.
Passive cooling is 1000s years old
written by TWu, March 05, 2009
It's possible to cool buildings in warm climate without using water or electricity- the passive cooling chimney. The Iranian city of Yazd has chimneys that are kept closed, filled with air that's heated by the sun. They're connected to underground cisterns cooled to the earth's temp of 55F. Between the cistern and best cialis price the chimney is the building you want to cool. Open the chimney and the warm air rises, pulling the cool air into the building. No electricity, no motors, no fuss.

Here's a lot more:

If we would learn from people who've successfully lived in a certain climate for a long time, we might be able to live there w/o making everything have to look like an english lawn with a fossil fuel intensive plug-in office building.
The Benefit of the Doubt
written by Rob, March 05, 2009
I am finding that when a company 'green-washes' they take an existing product and put an environmental spin on it WITH the intention to mislead the buy cialis online usa consumer. To me, it seems like the developer's heart was in the right place. They may be a little misguided but I am not sure their intention was to mislead.
It All Depends on Where You Use It ...
written by Jason Pelletier, March 05, 2009
We recently did a post on several new products that offer new alternatives to the central systems that are responsible for much of our household energy use. We considered writing about the Coolerado unit, but those water numbers scared us off (without doing further research).

It appears that the Coolerado units make use of evaporative cooling. If so, then we can't just say overall that it's "good" or "bad". In the southwest (CA, AZ, NM, UT, NV, etc), this would almost certainly be bad - water scarcity is quickly becoming the most urgent and pressing environmental issue. But in other areas with ample water resources? As others have mentioned, the Coolerado could be a higher-tech way to do what's worked for thousands of years.
written by Jake, March 06, 2009
A house uses three times as much water creating electricity to be used in the house, vs. actual water used. This would reduce electrical consumption - I'm sure 4gph is a lot less water than the 6kW/hour.

Not greenwashing. Truth.
The unit can replace traditional swamp c
written by Anthony, March 06, 2009
First, this is essentially a multistage swamp cooler. The idea is that it can cool air down much more than a swamp cooler can.

If you already have a swamp cooler, you're using water for cooling purposes now. And since it can cool air down way below what a swamp cooler can, and without increasing humidity, you can use it less (cooling air down to 50F instead of 65F from 105F).

I work for an extremely sustainable company, and we are looking at installing these to replace our older swamp coolers we use at some of our remote facilities.
Water usage is relative
written by Vince, March 06, 2009
Thanks for the insightful comment, Anthony. I would add that the Coolerado does humidify the air but the amount of humidity is controlled unlike a swamp cooler, if I read their website correctly.

As for water usage, says the average household uses 125,000 gallons of water a year, of which 54% is for the landscape. If I multiply an assumed 10 hours of cooling times 90 days times 4 gallons/hour, I get 3,600 gallons to cool your house per year. So the Coolerado would use about 5% of the water that households in Denver use to water their lawns and plants. I feel like the water issue is not big for this product and certainly could be mitigated with other water savings or using gray water.

Not so bad?
written by SolarLad, March 09, 2009
Considering that 1)gray water could be used, 2)traditional electric production uses water, and 3)some areas have plenty of water, this method shows real potential.
Alternative Cooling conference
written by Lee Galeozzie, March 10, 2009
The Alternative Cooling conference take splace onm the 31st March, London. You will hear the latest thinking on low GWP refrigerants, ammonoia, hydrocarbons and carbon dioxide. Also covers F-Gas regulations. View the full programme on

written by Scott McClellan, March 11, 2009
Four gallons of water an hour is a deal breaker?? Are you retarded? The average american uses 200 gallons of water per day. So, even at ten hours of operation in a given day, you are still looking at a mere 25% of what the average person uses. For a family of four that is offset by a mere 6.25% drop in daily water consumption. In order to write articles about this stuff, wouldn't it help to know what you're talking about??? And you wonder why most people don't take the green movement seriously.
So catch some rain water to feed it
written by cybercitizen, March 11, 2009
and if the water heated can be recycled for the first load of the laundry or dishwasher, so much the better. Think outside of the box.
written by Maggie Wolfe Riley, March 11, 2009
"greenwashing at its worst"? I don't think so. We have been considering getting one of these to run on solar, which they can. They are basically an evaporative cooler, like the one we already have on our roof, but more efficient. Here is what they say on their website ( ) about water usage (in answer to a user question):

"The average water use for our 6 ton unit, the Coolerado C60, will be about 4 to 6 gallons per hour depending on your climate and water quality. It will consume more during the heat of a summer day, and less in the evenings and buy generic cialis cheap transition seasons.

Even with the high water rates in your area, it will likely cost you much less than $15 per month for water for the C60. Using average electricity rates and a hot month, you’d spend about $50 for Coolerado, and about $400 for a traditional air conditioner, saving you well over $300 per month. So, it’s an easy decision from a personal pocket book point of view.

But what about a water conservation point of view? Most people don’t realize how much water is consumed to produce power, but the DOE studies such things. In their report which can be found at, the DOE finds that on average it takes 2 gallons of water to produce 1 kilowatt-hour of electricity in the US.

Your Coolerado C60 will pull somewhere between 600 to 750 watts at full speed, but let’s call it an even 1,000 to make the math easy. So at 1 kw the ordering viagra mail illegal C60 will use about a gallon an hour at the power plant, and another 6 gallons at your site. Let’s round up to 10 gallons per hour of total water used regionally to make it easy.

A traditional 6 ton, SEER 15, air conditioner will pull about 1,200 watts per ton (they pull even more power when exposed to the 110 F+ temperatures in your area, and they don’t report the power used by the fan to circulate the air in the house). So let’s round down and say a traditional system will use about 7 kw per hour. No water is used at the site, but about 14 gallons of water is used at the power plant. Let’s be generous, round down again, and call that about 10 gallons of water used per hour regionally.

10 gallons of water used for a Coolerado air conditioner, or 10 gallons of water used for a traditional air conditioner - Net zero regional water impact."

Being able to run this on solar makes it even less of an impact on water use, and for any water running off rather than evaporated, you can capture and use it to water your garden. Plus, no refrigerant is used.

I strongly disagree that this is "greenwashing" - these are a MUCH better alternative to regular air conditioning, and even traditional swamp coolers.
written by klg, March 11, 2009
its a solar swamp cooler pure and simple.
Not Greenwashing
written by Mark Timms, March 11, 2009
I love reading your articles Eco Geek but how do you think this is greenwashing??? I mean, If you have to use tap water yes, but This would be perfect if you are close to a body of water. I mean, the water doesnt have to be 100% pure does it??? And it goes into the air as vapor.
Think globally.
written by Glen McDiarmid, March 12, 2009
EcoGeek normally put forward a decent, unbiased view that makes sense. Not this time. The fact that countries like New Zealand have more water than they know what to do with, isn't exactly the point. The point is that EcoGeek, while always acting globally through its website and newsletter, is thinking locally, not being able (for once) to consider environments outside the USA.

Eco thinking individuals I was told, are supposed to think globally and act locally. This article demonstrates the opposite.

United Arab Emirates is mostly desert. One would expect this to be the last place that the Coolerado to be useful. Not true. Aluminium bauxite from QLD, Australia is processed there, and the process itself turns sea water into fresh water. This alone supplies all the water that UAE needs and buy tramadol 180 cod more. Currently, virtually every residence and every business not only has an air conditioner, but has it going, 24/7. The power lines in Dubai are the thickest I've seen in the world, mostly due to electric air conditioners. Plus, every electric air conditioner actually makes the hot environment problem worse.

Okay, that's two countries and they're just two that I happen to have visited.

Electricity is still produced mainly from burning fossil fuels, even though this is changing. Electricity is generated at a station near my home. It consumes 20 percent of the available water in this region. Residential use of water is around 5 percent. I don't know the figures elsewhere. But I certainly won't assume and make an arse of myself like EcoGeek have in this report.

EcoGeek need to deliver an apology. Your comments on the Coolerado are wrong and damaging. And they show a lot of ignorance.

Personally, I had far more respect for EcoGeek before I read this report.

QLD, Australia
written by russ, March 12, 2009
Try using poor quality (gray) or salt water in these - I expect the internal buildup of solids from the water will be a major problem.

More than likely it requires fresh - good water. Still not a drawback though.
Perfect Reverse Psychology Article
written by Ecir Nodnarb, March 12, 2009
This article is the perfect reverse psychology tactic. It's so obvious. Even the last line signals the obvious intent of this article. "Don't believe them". That just provokes me to believe them, so I can prove you wrong! This has got to be the best way to provoke positive comments about a technology. Hank, did I call your bluff?

I personally like the idea. My house has well water. If I can discharge the online pharmacy shop canadian healthcare pharmacy water in the ground, I can replenish my water table, reduce my water use impact on others, and enjoy a $0 water bill. It's really a poor man's geothermal system. Check out for the middle class geothermal system. If I understand the Coolerado system properly, I can draw cool water out of the ground, use it to absorb the heat from my house, and then dump that heat back into the ground. All the time, I am letting water do the heat removal while it reduces my electric bill. Brilliant! Even if there is a huge impact to the utility system, the alledged electricty savings might be worth the cost of installing a shallow well on a residential subdivision lot to remove the impact to the utility system (water and sewer). Hey the buy viagra overnight waste water from the Coolerado could be used to water the lawn instead, resulting in zero net increase in water consumption. More Brilliant!

All comments appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real comments, living or dead, is purely coincidental.
RE: Perfect Reverse Psychology Article
written by Ecir Nodnarb, March 12, 2009
OK, I modify my previous post. The water is evaporated into the air during the heat removal process, so you can't water your lawn with it.

However, I don't like being wrong, so I have invented a hydroponic lawn system with an impermeable base layer to force excess runoff to a low point and collection pump and filter assembly. Now after you water your lawn, the excess water is now used to cool your home, which recharges the atmoshpere with water vapor which eventually forms clouds, then rain, then groundwater, then rivers, then water treatment facilities, back into your water supply. Bam! Zero net increase in water usage. Yeah, I win every time. Even when I'm wrong.
Amazing Invention
written by mizzy, March 12, 2009
It amazes me each time humans develop new discoveries like the solar powered air conditioning. Apart from the fact the it saves up money, this is also environmentally friendly.
Systems Engineer
written by Daniel Steele, March 12, 2009
We have been using a AC system that I designed & built 3 years ago that utilizes a solar powered well pump (3.5 gpm) and a large water to air heat exchanger that provides approximately 2 tons of AC. We live in an area (upstate NY) with lots of precipitation, high water table and cold well water (56 deg F) so the "greeness of such a system is really driven by environment and design. We use the systems exit water for garden irrigation and an outside shower. The total electrical power used is about 300 watts. Furthermore, the neat thing about this system is its dual use. It shares it's air circulation subsystem with our solar powered hot air system used during the winter, such that the investment cost is split about in half.
Maisotsenko M-Cycle Coolerado
written by Robert Pritchett, March 13, 2009
I attended Valeriy Maisotsenko's presentation at the Tesla Conference last summer in New Mexico. The website link I provided above, is a result of his presentation and he keeps updating this page himself.
The real issue here
written by Krypton Products, March 16, 2009
It seems to me the real issue here is a misunderstanding of what it means to be "green". I have no doubt that the intention of this company was to create a green product that would reduce energy consumption. It seems the extra usage of water was a tradeoff they saw reasonable.

What I think is most important here is the effort starting to be made by companies in industries that traditionally have nothing to do with sustainability or conservation. For example air conditioning manufacturers. My company ( has recently started a few green initiatives and gone paperless, even though we know very little about it. It's the effort and the initiative that I'm seeing in other companies I'm excited about (even if it is a bit misplaced in its initial stages). Anyone agree?

That's how I know things are starting to catch on. I heard that Apple may even be unveiling a solar powered (at least partially) iPhone within a few years (they filed a patent about a year ago).

It'll be very exciting to see the next generation of solar and bio products, I'll be sure to keep reading!

Where do you think the next big trend in green gadgets is? TV's, Phones, Computers, Cars?

Thanks for the info!
written by Paul, March 18, 2009
Sensationalist journalism without proper research taking into account the amount of water used in the saved electricity generation is worse than true greenwashing.

At very worst this product is situational, not greenwashing.
written by Tom, June 22, 2009
Whether this cooler wastes water or not, it certainly doesn't waste more ressources than the regular coolers, so why not see the brightside to it and acknowledge that this one at least hints at the use of alternative energy. I'm sure that in the near future, solar technologies will be way more efficient so that we should all prepare for letting such technologies into our life.
What about PAX air conditioner?
written by Joe, July 28, 2009
I read this a while back... haven't seen it mentioned on this site.
Solar Air Conditioner Is Too Good To Be True
written by JO, October 01, 2009
I think this Coolerado air conditioner unts requires 4 x 200 watt panels which is very efficient indeed to cool an area of about 250 m2. I read somewhere.

As far as I understand, it can use tap water, grey water, bore water, i think it has even been tested on salt water with positive results. Have a look at the website and understand the product before you can it. It just shows how ignorant you are???
written by harry, November 10, 2009
Yoni Levinson doesn't know what the hell he's talking about. The water is not wasted. Some is heated to a gaseous state (vapor humidity) and re-condenses to water when it is cooled (rain or condensation on cooler materials exposed to the hotter exhaust air). The remaining water not vaporized carries away dissolved particulates and good choice how to get viagra no prescription can be filtered and re-used.

Water is added to the heat transfer membrane in order to create a significant difference between the humidity in the incoming air and that in membrane. This difference in humidity is needed for the incoming air to be able to remove water, in the form of vapor, from the membrane thus creating a cooling effect. Note that the humidity of the incoming air and that of the treated air vented to the interior are roughly equal. The exhaust air contains the heat in the form of water vapor. It is for that reason the units do not perform well, or at all, in places that have humid summers because the difference in humidity between the incoming air and water saturated membrane is not significant enough to produce meaningful cooling.

Next time Yoni, perhaps it would be wise to think before you blog… and have a glass of water
You've GOT to be kidding right?
written by Robert Easterling, July 07, 2010
Get serious! How could you possibly think the Coolerado is as bad as the alternative? Do you have any idea how many tons of coal, oil, or natural gas is required to create a very disproportionate amount of electricity to power conventional AC units? So it uses a considerable amount of water which ultimately evaporates back into the atmosphere and falls back to earth as precipitation. How could that possibly by any stretch of the imagination be worse than the thousands of chemicals and toxic poisons being released from conventional AC units or all of the coal, oil and natural gases?!!! I think you need to re-evaluate your thinking!
written by Chris Jones, May 16, 2014
100 gallons of water a day. 3000 gallons of water a month. So what? If you have it... use it. If don't ... don't. Use a little common sense. Water is a remarkably renewable resource. Screw your head on straight.
You're not understanding energy generation.
written by Anonymous, June 21, 2014
Look up the quantity of water utilized by the power company to generate energy, per watt. This unit saves water AND energy.

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