Frank Swigonski, Advanced Energy Economy
July 12, 2017
For roughly a century, CHP systems have been reliable, cost-effective sources of power and thermal energy in both industrial and commercial building applications. Representing as much as 8% of U.S. electricity generation, CHP systems are used widely in manufacturing, hospitals, district heating, commercial buildings, and even residential applications.
Producing power and heat (separately) typically results in a combined efficiency of 45%. By contrast, CHP systems (also known as cogeneration) generate electricity and thermal energy in a single system, resulting in a combined efficiency as high as 80%. Gas turbines make up the largest share of CHP systems, often exporting power to the electrical grid, but it is not the only way for CHP to work.
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