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Thermax Introduces Smaller, More Efficient Solar Air Conditioner

July 6 (Bloomberg) -- Thermax Ltd., a power-equipment maker backed by India’s third-richest woman, introduced a solar air conditioner to target a market for smaller and more efficient cooling appliances.

The cooling system, installed at a government building in Gurgaon in northern Haryana state, takes up 30 percent less space and is 20 percent more efficient than similar solar air conditioners currently available, Thermax said today in an e-mailed statement.

“India will consume 35 percent of its entire electricity generated only for cooling and air conditioning,” Thermax Chief Executive Officer M.S. Unnikrishnan said in the statement. Solar energy use in such applications is promising because cooling needs are greatest in daylight hours, it said.

Thermax’s system can service industrial and commercial buildings needing as much as 3 megawatts of capacity and can switch to natural gas when sunlight isn’t available, it said. It uses solar parabolic concentrators to run absorption chillers that work on heat instead of electricity, it said.

Thermax, based in Pune, makes conventional turbines and equipment for water treatment plants and air pollution control. Billionaire Anu Aga is the biggest individual shareholder in the company, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

To contact the reporter on this story: Natalie Obiko Pearson in Mumbai at npearson7@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Reed Landberg at landberg@bloomberg.net.

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