Combined Heat and Power Evaluation, Step by StepEnergy Manager Today, November 5, 2013
Combined Heat and Power (CHP), sometimes referred to as cogeneration, is an efficient energy solution that generates power and thermal energy (heating and cooling) simultaneously from a single fuel source. Industrial and large commercial facilities, in particular, are great candidates for CHP. Medical, institutional and research buildings with high process loads and heating and cooling requirements critical to day-to-day operations require both thermal energy and electricity, which have traditionally been produced in two separate processes.
Traditional methods of separately producing electricity in power plants and heat and steam in boilers require the consumption of significantly higher volumes of fuel relative to CHP. When electricity is produced by a conventional generator, about 40% of the fuel consumed is converted into electricity, and the remaining 60% becomes waste heat. Conversely, CHP technology consumes 40 percent less fossil fuel than traditional utility power plant technologies by recycling waste heat and converting it to useful thermal energy. Since less fuel is burned per unit of useful energy output, cogeneration reduces CO2 emissions and decreases air pollution.