Cogenra chills Johnson Controls new chillers with hybrid solar

Cogenra's installation at the Kendall-Jackson wineryInternational services company, Johnson Controls, which provides energy efficiency and other services, recently chose Cogenra’s solar cooling system to integrate with its high-efficiency chillers. The new chillers will take advantage of Cogenra’s solar thermal and photovoltaic technologies.

Cogenra’s unique low-concentrating solar hybrid system boosts the efficiency of conventional photovoltaic cells by reflecting sunlight onto them from a series of mirror-like strips. Then the thermal heat generated by the reflection heats a fluid loop which can be used for solar thermal heating and cooling systems.

Cogenra’s relatively new commercialized technology has been installed in a number of locations where it’s been used to provide local electricity and heating and cooling for commercial buildings at places like Facebook, wineries, retirement communities and military installations.

The new, combined product uses YORK’s Absorption Chiller and uses Cogenra’s PV waste-heat recovery technology, which it says captures 75 percent of the sun’s energy, by capturing both spectrums of energy. It’s a significant boost over the 20 percent efficiency of market-leading silicon PV, alone. The system will generate hot water for the absorption chiller, which air conditions buildings, as well as electricity to reduce power grid energy demand.

“Solar cooling offers a compelling value proposition for building owners by reducing both peak time energy costs and demand charges,” said Gilad Almogy, chief executive officer and founder of Cogenra.

According to Cogenra, the solar-cooling solution can integrate into any building control system, like Johnson Control’s Metasys building management system.

“Our customers deserve heating and cooling solutions that push the limits of technology design to reduce utility costs and maximize investments,” said Joe Brillhart, director of global industrial chillers at Johnson Controls. “When you consider warm environments like Arizona or California, this solution is the financially responsible way to capture energy from the sun while leveraging one of the best absorption chillers on the market.”

Johnson Controls is the largest energy services company in North America and guarantees its customers $7.5 billion in energy savings. As such, it has a large potential list of clients that the solution could work for.