Using solar power to run an air conditioner seems like one of those no-brainers that a six-year-old could figure out. After all, hot places are where you need AC, and they tend to be sunny most of the time, so why not marry the two together? Toyota has figured out that this idea would appeal to the Prius customers, so the new version has solar roof panels.
The problem is that air conditioners suck a whole lot of power, and you would need a bunch of panels to run just one unit. There might however be a way around that. Air conditioners cycle on and off with the temperature, drawing a fraction of the power when the compressor is off, so by adding batteries to smooth out the power demand, the peak load is greatly reduced.
The GreenCore 10200 is a hybrid unit that can be used a number of ways. The batteries can be recharged using the solar panels, or directly from the wall at night when power demands are lower. And while the unit's solar panel doesn't provide enough juice to run the AC directly, it lets you add more solar panels so you can go off the grid completely.
Clearly designed for industrial applications, both McDonald's and the US Navy have been looking at the technology.