The California Public Utility Commission has awarded a $1.5 milliongrant to finance Cogenra Solar’s full scale 272 kW demonstrationprototype of solar hybrid co-generation of heat and electricityprototype. Intended for the mid-sized commercial market, the prototypeaims at reducing solar costs by producing both electricity and heat from one unit.
The solar-cogen comprises of a long narrow array of solar photovoltaiccells that capture solar energy facing downwards towards the reflectedand highly focused sunshine bounced up by the mirrors. Above the solararray is the tube that carries the liquid to siphon off the heat used in solar hot water. The ground-mounted panels generate enough heat as they rotate on their trackers to follow the sun. The CPUC hopes that thesystem could provide electricity, hot water and cooling at the sametime, thereby greatly reducing California’s energy demands.