The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has awarded $10 million in funding for a renewable energy project in Colorado.
A partnership with the Propane Education & Research Council (PERC), Colorado State University and 2G Energy will examine decarbonized district energy systems with renewable propane-powered combined cooling heat and power (CCHP).
“District energy systems provide multiple buildings with heating and/or cooling from a central plant,” says Jim Bunsey, director of commercial business development at PERC. “These systems increase efficiency and reduce emissions compared to individual building systems. They also provide a reliable and resilient source of thermal energy that is particularly useful for large energy users such as manufacturing facilities, health care campuses and military bases.”
The university will conduct a field demonstration of an integrated CCHP unit in a district energy system that uses the waste heat to drive a turbo-compression chiller, a technology developed at the university.
“The research will help show that district energy systems can operate seamlessly with renewable fuels,” Bunsey says. “By incorporating propane-powered CHPs into these systems, it’s possible to provide necessary energy services in conjunction with on-site solar generation and simultaneously support the electrical grid.”