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Tecogen launches gas and electric hybrid chiller

USA: The Tecochill Hybrid-Drive air-cooled chiller from Tecogen can draw its power from two energy sources – natural gas and electric power.

Tecogen says its Hybrid-Drive chiller, which is being launched in the US, offers customers up to 50% lower operating costs compared to alternative chillers, as well as dual-power-source resiliency. It also operates with refrigerant R513A, the A1 alternative to R134a with a GWP of around 630.

When the Hybrid-Drive is powered by the chiller’s integral natural gas engine, it produces chilled water for air conditioning and recovers the free engine heat to produce usable hot water. 

It can track inputs from the electric power grid to enable customers to optimise economic savings and/or greenhouse gas reductions. Marginal grid power generation in the United States is currently predominantly fossil fuel-based, particularly during peak demand periods, so customers able to utilise both the chilled water and hot water generated by the chiller will benefit from both the lowest operating cost and the lowest greenhouse gas footprint. 

The Hybrid-Drive can maximise greenhouse gas reductions by using power from the electric grid when the grid incrementally is powered by renewable energy and can switch to engine power when the grid is generating higher greenhouse gas emissions. In addition, when grid power is more expensive during periods of high demand, the Hybrid-Drive can switch to operating on engine power, and then switch back to operating on the grid if prices become lower, enabling customers to optimise operations as electric grid costs and greenhouse gas emissions fluctuate. 

The Hybrid-Drive can also rely on engine power in the event of grid power outages, providing cooling for critical process applications when the electric grid is unavailable. 

The Hybrid-Drive is expected to be an excellent fit for applications such as controlled environment agriculture (CEA), healthcare, education, chiller rental, and industrial process cooling. Investments in the Hybrid-Drive chiller may also allow US customers to benefit from a 40% federal Investment tax credit.  

The chiller will be featured at the forthcoming AHR Expo in Atlanta.


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