Solar “cooling” panels

There has been a lot of buzz about HVAC contractors installing “solar cooling panels”. These are claimed to reduce the energy consumption of A/C systems, especially 2-stage compressors, using the energy of the sun.

They are piped into the hot-gas lines of the refrigerant circuit, and look like solar water heating panels.

Some have remarked to me that this can’t possibly work, that it defies the laws of refrigeration. Some contractors ( I won’t divulge names) tell me that it definitely reduces wattage consumption.

It also has been touted to qualify for some amount of energy credit/rebate money.

Perhaps there is an unknown aspect of solar energy we are not aware of which causes the efficiency boost?

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