By Solar Today Magazine June 6, 2014
Boulder, Colorado – June 5, 2013; Cool Energy, Inc., a clean energy power generation company with headquarters in Boulder, Colorado, 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 private 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.
“We strongly support Edisun’s goal to lower the price of electricity by using concentrating solar power. We are honored that Edisun chose our engines to bring forward CSP systems that can compete with fossil fuel pricing for community-scale energy production,” said Sam Weaver, CEO of Cool Energy. “The Cool Energy/Edisun partnership reflects the innovative thinking we must deploy if power generation can successfully reduce climate change impacts.”
The Cool Energy SolarHeart®Engine 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 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.
Edisun President Aaron Fyke is leading the effort to develop significantly less expensive energy systems to replace fossil fuels with CSP production. “Ultimately we feel that we will achieve significant cost reductions by being a manufacturing company, not a construction company,” said Fyke. “Our solution requires a power plant which is small, powerful, efficient, cost effective, and can be replicated in high volume. Cool Energy does all of these things and we are very pleased to have partnered with them.”
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 U.S., 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.
About Cool Energy
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 U.S. National Science Foundation, the U.S. Dept. of Energy and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and has 10 patents awarded or pending. Cool Energy is a Certified B Corporation and was recognized in April 2014 as a “Best for the Environment” Honoree. More information is available at www.CoolEnergy.com.