Cool Energy, Inc., a clean energy power generation company with headquarters in Boulder, Colorado (US), announced today that it has entered into a supply and licensing agreement for its 25kW SolarHeart Stirling Engine with Edisun Heliostats.
Edisun, a Pasadena, California-based privately held company, will use the engines in its solar systems to deliver electricity from concentrating solar power (CSP) that is less expensive than producing power from natural gas and coal.
Edisun has ordered a custom 25kW engine module from Cool Energy and will have exclusive worldwide rights to deploy the technology in the solar thermal market. The Cool Energy engines as used in the Edisun system are expected to have conversion efficiencies that are over 20% better than other approaches for small-scale CSP.
The Cool Energy SolarHeartEngine power generation technology will extract the heat from the unique CSP rock bed storage using the company’s closed-loop circulating system to produce energy. The Stirling Engine (shown at right) safely and efficiently converts the stored heat into electricity which will be sold to the local utility and added directly into the power grid.
For applications in emerging economies with no major power grid, the electricity would be used locally.
Previous-generation Cool Energy engines have completed more than 300 million cycles and 9,000 hours of reliability testing in the Boulder test facility. The Cool Energy technology converts waste heat to electricity at temperatures between 100° - 400° degrees Celsius to generate emissions-free power.
The CSP market has a bright future. CSP in the United States is expected to grow from the 500MW operating today to 3GW over the next five years. If the planned 3 GW of projected CSP are successfully deployed in the US, this renewable energy supply would satisfy the power needs of roughly 1 million American homes. According to the International Energy Agency, investments in CSP are expected to grow from $28 billion in 2014 to $60 billion in 2020.
Cool Energy is a privately-held power conversion equipment corporation based in Boulder, Colorado. The company was founded in 2006 to develop a thermal-to-electrical power generation system to convert waste heat from engines and industrial processes into clean electricity. The company has received competitive grants and contracts from the US National Science Foundation, the US Dept. of Energy and the US Environmental Protection Agency, and has 10 patents awarded or pending.