David- i have pulled apart gas fridges and cycled them on a bench top. They are designed for relitively high grade heat, from a gas flame or a resistance element. I am yet to see a small cheap chiller that can run of low grade heat such as hot coolent.
Gordon- http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/12v-200ah-LI ... 43bfff8691
So $5600 actually. Like i said i only glanced at it, im sure you know where to get them cheaper.
I can see how from a purely storage perspective, particularly of PV, lithium stack up. Especially if you are flush with money.
From a cogen perspective, especially where you have a variety of generation methods, It seems to me that batteries can be looked upon more as flywheels, there to start or run large loads for a short time, bridging the gap and smoothing out peaks inbetween inputs and outputs.
I know that if i spend around $450 for instance http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/NEW-Lion-Bat ... 3cee9af1e8
then I can run power tools, TIG welder, plasma cutter, compressors. For a short time at least, then i would have to run an engine or turbine. Which is fine because they are providing heat and cooling also.
Would i get this sort of utility if i spent $450 on lithium? I doubt it.
But look, in general i am convinced. When i can afford it i will buy some for an electric bike, and further down the track they may end up in my truck.