Southern California Gas Company Demonstrates Cogenra’s Solar Cogeneration for Solar Cooling

May 23, 2012

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Cogenra Solar®, a leading provider of distributed solar cogeneration systems and renewable energy service solutions, today announced a solar cogeneration project at Southern California Gas Company’s (SoCalGas) Energy Resource Center (ERC). SoCalGas will be the first utility in the United States to benefit from Cogenra’s solar cogeneration solution and its solar cooling application and launches Cogenra into the solar cooling market.

Until now solar cogeneration applications included solar hot water, space heating and electricity – SoCalGas’ solar cooling application is a great demonstration of solar cogeneration’s versatility in addressing customers’ diverse energy needs and opens up the vast cooling market to Cogenra’s solar cooling solution. Instead of using electricity (most commonly used-method) to run mechanical chillers, SoCalGas’ demonstration project captures and stores the heat generated by solar cogeneration to power one of the Energy Resource Center’s absorption chillers and support the building’s air-conditioning system on-demand.

Cogenra’s solar cogeneration system converts the sun’s energy to produce electricity, like any other photovoltaic (PV) technology, and then captures most of the remaining energy in water, in total using over 75% of the energy incident from the sun— versus 15% for traditional PV. The cogeneration system’s heat storage and on-demand availability of cooling offsets not only electrical energy costs but also helps reduce Electric Peak demand charges. Peak demand charges for typical commercial and industrial buildings account for more than 30 percent of their electricity bills.

Solar cogeneration is a solution that is not limited to utility use and provides heat, cooling and electricity for a range of cleaning and process applications. Leading companies in the multi-family, government, hospitality, healthcare, wine, and food industries are also taking advantage of this hybrid solution, reducing energy costs and boosting their sustainability performance.

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