What is Combined heat and power (CHP)?
Combined heat and power (CHP), also known as cogeneration, is the production of two kinds of energy–usually electricity and heat–from a single source of fuel. Combined heat and power (CHP) is a clean, renewable, and streamlined form of energy production. Simply put, Combined heat and power (CHP) is a cheaper, cleaner, and more efficient way to produce energy than by buying electricity from the power grid or burning fuels in a boiler to produce heat or steam.
What is integrated cooling and heating?
Elite expands upon the concept of a cogeneration plant through the use of an integrated heating and cooling module (ICHM). While traditional Combined heat and power (CHP) solutions produce only heat and electricity, ICHM can also supply cooling needs as a byproduct of the Combined heat and power (CHP) application. This is also known as tri-generation: cooling, heating, and electricity.
It works like this: The excess heat from the Combined heat and power (CHP) module’s engine jacket and exhaust is captured and sent to the ICHM. There, the heat is used as fuel by an absorption chiller. The chiller produces cold water, which is sent to process or space cooling units throughout the facility. Heat not utilized by the chiller is sent to a heating circuit where it is used for domestic, process or space heating needs.
Tri-generation improves upon the efficiency of the cogeneration plant by maximizing the use of waste heat produced by combined heat and power.
How long has Combined heat and power (CHP) been in use?
The principles of Combined heat and power (CHP) have been around since the late 1800s when Thomas Edison used it to power the world’s first commercial power plant.
However, as wider needs for electricity spread to rural parts of the country, government regulations were put in place to promote centralized power plants managed by regional utility companies. In turn, decentralized sources of energy, such as Combined heat and power (CHP), were discouraged and a law was eventually passed barring non-utilities from selling power.
It wasn’t until about 30 years ago that Combined heat and power (CHP) again became a favorable form of energy production. Congress realized that these large power plants, though a convenient form of energy delivery, were both inefficient in capturing the energy they produced and also major environmental polluters.
Today, advances in ultra-clean natural gas fired reciprocating engine technology, heat exchangers, and systems controls make Combined heat and power (CHP) both practical and economical for applications in varying size ranges.
What types of industries can benefit most from Combined heat and power (CHP)?
Nearly any private business or public entity that uses a lot of power for energy, cooling or heating will experience proportionally large energy savings through the use of Combined heat and power (CHP).
Combined heat and power (CHP) applications are especially useful in the hospitality, retail, healthcare, manufacturing, education and government sectors, specifically:
- Industrial/chemical plants
- Commercial facilities
- Government facilities
- Colleges and Universities
- Food processing
- Health clubs
- Swimming pools
- Nursing homes
- District heating and cooling
- Coal mining and oil fields
- Landfills and sewage treatment plants