A hybrid cooling, heating and power (HCHP) concept was recently demonstrated through a DOD innovative energy program. It included several high performance components for distributed energy systems and a unique drive-train design, which efficiently converts waste heat into useful energy in the form of cooling, heating and power depending upon the energy needs. Compared to a standard military environmental control unit (ECU) which puts an electric load on a diesel generator, the HCHP system uses engine exhaust heat as the primary energy input. Utilizing the exhaust heat can potentially provide 27% reduction on fuel consumption when operating in the cooling mode. When cooling is not needed, it is able to provide power output using engine waste heat — a potentially significant advantage over other heat activated cooling technologies.

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