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Johnson Controls Combines Chillers With Hybrid Solar Thermal, PV

February 28, 2013 By Linda Hardesty

Johnson Controls is expanding its existing absorption chiller technology by integrating Cogenra solar modules as part of a complete solar cooling solution to reduce energy costs for large buildings.

The company will combine its high-efficiency chillers with Cogenra’s hybrid solar thermal and photovoltaic (PV) technologies. Johnson Controls will begin selling Cogenra’s solar chilling technology to its customers in North America, and potentially in the Middle East as well.

Cogenra’s solar chilling technology uses mirrors and a tracking system to capture the sun’s energy and focus the sunlight onto an array of photovoltaic solar collectors to produce electricity and hot water at the same time. The solar-heated hot water is used in place of electricity or natural gas to power an air conditioning process.

The combined solution is especially cost-effective in hot, sunny environments like Arizona or California, capturing energy from the sun while leveraging Johnson Controls’ York absorption chiller, which features PV waste-heat recovery technology, converting 75 percent of the sun’s rays into energy.

The solar-cooling system integrates into any building controls system, including Johnson Controls’ Metasys building management system.


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