CSEMAG – Cogeneration systems, also known as combined heat and power (CHP) systems, generate both electricity and usable thermal energy. CHP systems provide a cost-effective method of reducing operating costs, increasing electrical reliability, and reducing greenhouse gases. A CHP system simultaneously converts mechanical work to electrical energy (in most cases) and produces useful heat. The efficiency of a CHP is approximately twice that of a standard utility electric-generating station, because the excess heat from the process is used beneficially in lieu of being dissipated to ambient air. These cogeneration systems, typically used on campuses with high heat load requirements (i.e., colleges, hospitals, and industrial campuses), offer efficiency, ease of system maintenance, and sustainable design opportunities.
CHP plant projects prioritize reliability, efficiency, sustainability, flexibility, and resiliency. CHP offers institutional, industrial, and commercial building owners a well-established means of increasing energy efficiency, decreasing risk of power outages (redundancy through islanding capability), reducing energy-related costs, and reducing greenhouse gas and air-pollutant emissions. The technologies that comprise U.S. capacity broadly align with applications determined by such characteristics as size, efficiency, capital and O&M costs, start-up time, availability, durability, system complexity, and emissions control. Fluency in the details of CHP systems and their performance is the starting point for effective application. While CHP has been around for more than a century, part of its renewed relevance today lies in its role as a vital part of energy projects seeking cleaner, greener energy.