Energy Quest has been funded by the U.S. Air Force to develop a full scale 15-ton cooling heating and power system. The single integrated system can run off of solar thermal energy, solar PV, natural gas, or grid power, allowing it to use the cheapest energy source. The system will also provide 7 kW of backup electrical power by operating on solar thermal or natural gas. The system has 11 different operating modes, including a co-generation mode that produces 7 kW of electricity as a byproduct of heating a building on natural gas.
With the modes that produce electricity as a byproduct, the system can actually save 100% of the energy cost of a conventional system, plus additional savings on other building electrical loads. Below is a sample cost savings breakdown.
15 tons cooling/heating, 7 kw back-up power
Dimensions: L 9.2 ft, H 6.2 ft, W 6.9 ft
Weight 1500 lbs
Everything to support solar panels in main unit
Generates own power (i.e. grid independent)
10 year life (similar to conventional)
Hermetically sealed system
Typical HVAC maintenance schedule & procedures
"With all the different operating modes, economic analyses have shown substantial energy cost savings in every region of the U.S."