The development of renewable energy sources revolutionizing almost every machine-based industry (including HVAC) as the technologies that accompany these energy sources change to improve their energy efficiency and environmentally friendliness. In the same way that solar panels can harness energy to power lights and electricity, solar energy can also be used to run HVAC systems. Some special types of solar panels that generate heat can also power HVAC systems thermally (through heat) rather than electrically. Or HVAC systems can run on the cold by making ice during non-peak hours to cool the air in the building. And lastly, geothermal heat pumps use the Earth’s natural interior temperature to heat buildings in the winter and cool them in the summer.
Using renewable energy sources to power HVAC systems will dramatically reduce greenhouse gas emissions, improving the wellbeing of both the environment and of the people breathing outdoor air. As HVAC systems continue to evolve to use renewable energy sources, it is important for HVAC technicians to become knowledgeable on how these new units work and learn new skills to be able to operate them.