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California Funds Solar Cogeneration, Winery Demo Project

Wine Cellar (


Cogenra Solar, a developer of solar cogeneration systems in Mountain View, California, has received a $1.5 million research grant from the California Solar Initiative Research, Development, Deployment and Demonstration Program. The funding will support accelerated development and commercial deployment of Cogenra’s solar cogeneration technology, including a demonstration project at the Sonoma Wine Company in Graton, California.

Cogenra’s solar cogeneration system includes photovoltaic and solar thermal technologies that work together to produce solar hot water and electricity. The 272 kilowatt electric and thermal installation at the Sonoma Wine Company will use 15 individual Cogenra modules to power the facility’s bottling operations, reducing natural gas and grid-fed electricity consumption.

The company says solar cogeneration of electricity and hot water maximizes the value of energy generated from the sun by producing electricity with standard photovoltaic (PV) technology and capturing remaining energy as hot water. Since a single concentrating solar collector unit can serve both functions, augmenting the PV receiver to transfer excess heat into water rather than dissipating it into the air adds little additional cost to the overall system. This process also allows the PV cells to run cooler which enhances their efficiency.

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