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A Community Solution to Decarbonization from College Campuses to Cities Around the World

By District Energy posted 12-05-2023 15:37


University and college campuses are places where young minds are shaped, and groundbreaking research is conducted. Cities are often the places where recent graduates gather to put those ideas learned in the classroom into action. Both are also sources of innovation for the technology that is literally powering the work being done on campus and in office buildings. Business districts and campuses often rely on combined heat and power (CHP) district energy systems, also referred to as cogeneration, to provide heat and electricity to academic, research, office, and residential spaces.

Unlike a typical power plant that exhausts surplus heat to the local environment after generating power, a CHP system recovers heat to produce additional electricity, drive pumps and compressors, and supply space heating and hot water to buildings on the district energy piping network, essentially doubling the fuel efficiency of the system. CHP systems are able to convert up to 75% or more of fuel input into usable energy, compared to a traditional power plant typically operating at 35% to 40% efficiency. Even more importantly, having a fuel flexible source of nearby power, configured as a microgrid, can dramatically enhance reliability and resiliency for the local economy.

Read the Article Authored by IDEA President & CEO Rob Thornton in POWER