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A commercial solar air conditioner


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The technology behind Chromasun's solar concentrator box originated at the Australian National University and is being commercialized by Ausra, the concentrating solar power company co-founded by Le Lievre.


A concentrating solar system creates heat by focusing light onto a pipe carrying a liquid, which can be water or oil. Chromasun is using a Fresnel lens to concentrate the light and make heat. Over the course of a day, the lenses will follow the sun to maximize the heat.


Normally, chillers create cool air in buildings using a building's boiler. Chromasun's solar concentrator can replace that heat with solar energy and feed it to existing air conditioning systems, Le Lievre explained. The system can also pull in cool air at night and introduce it into the building.


"The payback under rebates available from California and the federal government is four to five years. But when you buy a conventional air conditioning system, it never pays back--you always need to power it," he said.


Le Lievre argued that a solar thermal system will be more efficient than buying solar electric panels. He said he expects the solar air conditioner can replace existing equipment, although builder owners need to have a back-up system.


The company expects to test its systems at an office building Dubai and a data center in California early next year and have a commercial product available in the second half of next year. The plan is to sell the solar air conditioner through exiting HVAC distributors.

Chromasun is in the process of seeking a series B round of investment, Le Lievre said.




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Anyone else noticed almost every energy company now advertising about purchasing their products for the "rebates" available from the Federal Government? :wacko:

I am seeing this on homes for sale as a selling point, though it is the government's (read: OUR) money.

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