AC Mythbusters Why you really can’t have AC in Misawa
Wouldn’t it use more power to run 8 fans than to run central air or window units?
No! A typical box fan is rated at 100w and uses 74kWhr if run continuously for 1 month. Eight such fans would use about 600 kWhr in one month.* *standing fans and even the largest ceiling fans use even LESS power
An efficient central air system sized for a 1500 sq ft home run for 15 hours/day would consume 2000kWhr/month or almost 3.3X as much power as 8 fans.
Five window units sized for a 1500 sq ft home run for 15 hours/day would consume 2600kWhr/month or 4.3 X as much power as 8 fans!
I heard that you can power AC units with solar panels placed on the top of your roof. Why don’t we do that at Misawa?
An efficient central air system sized for a 1500 sq ft home run for 15 hours/day would consume 2000 kWhr/month. Solar systems rated to supply solar power to a 1500 sq ft home only supply about 400kWhr/month with 5 hours of peak sunshine.
This means that even if we had extensive roof tops available (which we don’t as most residents live in towers), the solar systems would supply about 1/5th the power needed to operate the AC system.
Also, they are EXTREMELY expensive. The system for a 1500 sq ft home costs about $12,500. This means it would take over 20 years for this system to pay for itself.
Why can’t we have window units if we pay for them out of our own pocket?
We do not have the capacity on base to accommodate all family members. Our limitation is based on the instantaneous demand of all users on base Base housing is supplied by substation 1 & 2 which are limited to contracted max power of 18,535kW This limitation ensures our aged system is protected from damage in the case of an over-demand event
Currently, our August maximum demand is approx 16,400kW which means our available excess capacity is 2135kW A typical family housing unit with window units would consume 5kW – this means the base could accommodate about 425 families before exceeding maximum capacity (maybe a few more since they won’t be running fans any more) There are over 2000 housing units at Misawa!
Remember, allowing those 425 families to have AC would mean over 1500 families would not have AC! Neither would Sollars, Cummings, Edgren, the Misawa Inn or Unaccompanied Housing.