Building Energy Efficient Cooling and Heating (BEECH)

BEECH can increase thermal efficiency by 10% and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 722 lbs/day

Altex Technologies Corporation

Recipient

San Jose, CA

Recipient Location

10th

Senate District

25th

Assembly District

beenhere

$1,582,616

Amount Spent

closed

Completed

Project Status

Project Result

This project was completed in 2015. The project pursued a novel combination of an organic Rankine power cycle and refrigeration cycle, to convert waste heat or solar thermal energy into heating and refrigeration outputs. A full scale system with projected outputs of 5 cooling tons and 190,000 Btu/hr hot water heating was designed and built. Although expander/compressor issues prevented completion of the planned steady-state testing, economic analysis of the system supports a four year payback when driven by waste heat, and a thirteen year payback when driven by solar thermal energy.

The Issue

Many technologies exist to harvest waste heat from commercial and industrial equipment, such as boilers, and convert it to electrical power. Similar technologies can also convert the heat from solar insolation into electricity. However, these often have high initial costs, which cause long payback times. The electrical output of these systems does offset grid power consumption, but the facilities in which they are installed also use grid power to drive air conditioning or chiller equipment. This results in double efficiency losses—once in converting and conditioning power from the generator device, and then again by converting electrical power to shaft power to drive the cooling equipment.

Project Innovation

The Building Energy Efficient Cooling and Heating (BEECH) technology sought to develop a simple and low capital cost cooling system, combined with a simple hot water system to generate cooling and/or hot water from waste heat, at a cost that will yield a short term return on investment. The project has the potential to provide a cost effective way to convert waste heat or solar thermal energy to meet heating and refrigeration needs while reducing greenhouse gas emissions and natural gas cost.

Project Benefits

By converting waste heat or solar thermal energy to meet heating and refrigeration needs, this project has the potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and natural gas cost.

Lower Costs

Affordability

When installed on thermal equipment with <75% thermal efficiency, BEECH can increase thermal efficiency by 10%, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 722 lbs/day. After the initial payback period is reached, the system will provide an operating cost reduction to the facility in which it is installed and yield a positive cash flow.

Key Project Members

Project Member

John T. Kelly

President

Subrecipients

Rocket

Vacuum Process Engineering, Incorporated

Rocket

Legacy Chiller Systems, Inc.

Rocket

Oxford Engineering

Rocket

Match Partners

Rocket

Altex Technologies Corporation

Rocket

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