Cool Energy Rolls Up its Sleeves, Unveils its SolarHeart
Cool Energy, Inc. is best known for its SolarFlow System, a combined solar thermal heating and solar electricity system. So when solar heating is not needed, the system converts excess energy into electricity. Now, Cool Energy has improved upon that hybrid system with their SolarHeart engine, a machine that incorporates an efficient Stirling engine into the mix.
A Stirling engine is an old technology that uses the difference in pressure between hot and cold air to create electricity. The engine alternately compresses and expands a quantity of air, driving a piston. It’ll work so long as there is a difference in temperature from one side of the engine to the other.
The SolarHeart is uniquely designed to make solar power feasible in northern climates, especially those in remote areas that use fuel oil or propane for heat. It is ideally suited for a hybrid solar system in a cold climate, as the solar thermal system, which functions in cloudy weather, provides the heat while the ambient air is generally cold. The company claims that its SolarHeart engine, as part of a solar thermal heating system, can reduce energy bills by as much as 75 percent.
SolarHeart can also be used to harvest waste heat from diesel generators to supplement electricity generation. According to Cool Energy, the engine can increase electrical output by 20 percent.
Cool Energy has unveiled the SolarHeart engine itself. Its unique hybrid solar heating and electric system is still in the works. The engine is currently available for diesel generators, primarily geared toward military, industry and remote locations.
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