News release –
Collaboration Results in Unique Solar Air Conditioning Demonstration in the United States.
Industrial rooftop solar solutions company Chromasun today announced that it has partnered with SunWater Solar, a solar thermal technology integrator, to deploy California’s first Micro-Concentrator (MCT) solar cooling demonstration at Santa Clara University’s (SCU) 2007 Solar Decathlon House.
The lightweight, low-profile MCT module is a utility-scale solar collector packaged for rooftop deployment. The technology is designed to offset summertime peak loads by utilizing solar energy for commercial and industrial cooling needs. A demonstration system was recently installed and commissioned at SCU as part of the school’s solar-powered house, which won third place at the U.S. Department of Energy’s 2007 Solar Decathlon. In this demonstration, Chromasun’s MCT is providing clean renewable thermal energy for air conditioning, space heating and hot water.
“We are thrilled to work with SunWater Solar and Santa Clara University to demonstrate the advantages of solar driven air-conditioning here in the United States,” said Peter Le Lievre, founder and CEO of Chromasun. “The new MCT delivers customers the ability to conveniently harvest utility grade solar energy right from their rooftop. A solar installation of this type makes both economic and environmental sense for many homes, schools and industrial buildings.”
“This collaboration is a perfect example of how Santa Clara University continues to work with Silicon Valley companies to expose our students to their most cutting edge technologies,” said Professor Timothy Hight, department chair of mechanical engineering at SCU. “We can use this technology to demonstrate and explain to students newer ways to collect solar thermal energy, and collect and measure the data in real time.”
The Chromasun MCT is a flat panel solar thermal collector that can achieve a concentration of 25 times the sun using lightweight, highly reflective aluminum mirrors from Alanod-Solar. These mirrors pivot in unison to follow the sun. Solar energy is collected from the mirrors by a selectively coated stainless steel receiver pipe that can efficiently generate temperatures up to 220 degrees Celsius. This entire optical system is enclosed within a sealed canopy to protect against the elements. The MCT has no external moving parts and is mounted on the same racking systems as conventional flat panel solar thermal collectors. Installation is easy and rooftop efficiency is exceptional.
“Solar thermal technology is already proven as a cost-effective way to heat water for commercial and industrial facilities,” said Justin Weil, president of SunWater Solar. “Our work with Chromasun is demonstrating that solar thermal is also an efficient way to cool large buildings, which brings the technology’s financial and environmental benefits to an innovative new application.”
The 2007 solar-powered house at Santa Clara University is the result of a collaboration between more than 80 students from the university’s School of Engineering. The house generates enough electricity to run a modern household. The solar house is located on campus and serves as a demonstration project for Bay Area schools and students interested in alternative energy and learning about sustainability challenges and solutions.
About Santa Clara University
Santa Clara University, a comprehensive Jesuit, Catholic university located 40 miles south of San Francisco in California’s Silicon Valley, offers its more than 8,800 students rigorous undergraduate curricula in arts and sciences, business, theology, and engineering, plus master’s and law degrees and engineering Ph.D.s. Distinguished nationally by one of the highest graduation rates among all U.S. master’s universities, California’s oldest operating higher-education institution demonstrates faith-inspired values of ethics and social justice.