MILWAUKEE — Johnson Controls has announced the introduction of a solar cooling solution to reduce energy costs for large buildings in North America by combining its high-efficiency chillers with hybrid solar thermal and photovoltaic (PV) technologies.

“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.”

The solution uses the York absorption chiller and features PV waste-heat recovery technology, converting 75 percent of the sun’s rays into energy, compared to 15 percent efficiency in a traditional PV system, says the company. The solution qualifies for state and utility incentives across North America, especially in warm climates where cooling demand places a significant stress on the power grid, driving up electricity rates.

The solar-cooling solution generates hot water for the absorption chiller to air condition buildings and electricity to reduce demand from the power grid. It features a solar-collector system developed by Cogenra, a leading developer of distributed solar cogeneration technology, based in Mountain View, Calif. The solution can be integrated into any building controls system, including the Metasys® building management system, says Johnson Controls.

“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.

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Publication date: 2/25/2013