PORTLAND, Ore. -- LG Electronics recently unveiled the world's first solar-powered air conditioner as part of its "green" energy initiative. Over the next five years, the South Korean company will promote energy efficiency across all it business groups, including solid-state lighting.
Korean giant LG hopes to reduce energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions with its solar powered air conditioner.
LG recently signed an agreement with Germany's Kellendonk Elektronik to participate in the Smart Watts project
, which is being sponsored by the German government to develop a decentralized, intelligent electricity network. "The deal marks the first time a Korean company has taken part in a smart grid project in Europe" LG said.
LG's solar-powered air conditioner, a 28,000 BTU unit with a 70-watt solar array, supplies only about 10 percent of the over 700 watts required for cooling. However, the solar array
powers the air circulation and filtering system. so that the unit only needs to draw power from the wall outlet when its compressor is running. LG said it is aiming to increase the percentage of power supplied by its array as it beefs up capacity at its solar panel manufacturing plant in Gumi, South Korea.
LG will invest $820 million over the next five years in to expand the Gumi solar cell plant. The investment is expected to increase production capacity to more than 1 gigawatt.
Meanwhile, it is also expanding efforts to create low-power LED lighting products. The initiative will seek to leverage LED technology developed for flat-panel TVs.