Cogenra Solar installed an innovative solar photovoltaic electricity and water heating cogeneration system at General Hydroponics, a leading developer of hydroponic agricultural systems, nutrient formulas, and related products. Solar cogeneration produces hot water and electricity through a combined photovoltaic and thermal module. The waste heat from the back of the PV cells heats the water, which is then used in the facility. Roughly 4 additional units of energy on top of the electric energy are produced, resulting in at least double the customer savings versus a traditional PV array.
The 75 kilowatt project consists of 15 kilowatts of electricity and approximately 60 kilowatts of thermal energy. Sun Light & Power installed the 36 Cogenra photovoltaic-thermal collectors on the roof of General Hydroponics. They are estimated to offset approximately 3,500 therms of natural gas usage, or roughly 60 percent of annual consumption.
The new installation compliments an existing 101 kW photovoltaic electric system at General Hydroponics. Construction of the solar cogeneration project took approximately three weeks.