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Cogeneration: The Heat and Power Combination Meant to Be

June 27, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 130

Cogeneration or Combined Heat and Power (CHP) is one great method to save energy by recapturing and reusing heat that would have been wasted. CHP, heat reclamation, heat recovery or cogeneration is combining heat and power and is well developed, in use by many industries. Keeping the surroundings comfortable as it generates eco friendly electricity, reducing the harmful greenhouse gases and cutting utility costs are the benefits to consider maximizing before installing any combined heat and power systems in the homes.

The development in cogeneration is towards a quiet, clean, reliable micro turbine generator that does not need generally require special (additional) permits to install. They do not emit any environment damaging emissions.

During electricity production, all thermal power plants emit heat that is released into the natural environment through flue gas, cooling towers and other means. Cogeneration captures some or most of the end product heat and uses it in different ways.

Cogeneration is common in pulp and paper mills, chemical plants and refineries. It has been practical since the earliest installations of electrical production. Before the central station distributes power, industries generate their own power by using exhaust steam for their process heating. Shopping malls, hotels commercial buildings and offices commonly generate their own power and they use waste steam for building heat. Combined power and heat continues to be available for many years now because of the economy and the incessant increase of power costs.

Thermal power plants, including those plants that use fissile elements (burn coal, natural gas or petroleum) and heat engines, do not convert all the thermal energy into electricity. Most heat engines, more than half is lost as excess heat. Capturing the excess heat, combined heat and power (CHP) uses heat that would have been wasted in a conventional power plant. CHP can reach an efficiency of up to 80% for the best conventional plants. This is better because less fuel is needed to produce the same amount of useful energy.

Cogeneration's viability depends on a good base load of operation (more especially on the smaller CHP installations) for both the onsite electrical demand and heat demand. In reality, an accurate match of heat and electricity rarely exists. A CHP plant can either meet the need for heat or be run as a power plant with a little use of its waste heat. Its viability is greatly increase in trigeneration, in which case, the heat from the CHP plant is used also as a main source to deliver cooling through an absorption chiller.

CHP is considered as one of the most cost efficient methods of reducing carbon emissions of heating during winter time and in cold climates.

ReTech Power and Water Engineering specializes in leading edge renewable energy development, with a history of tackling some of the most challenging engineering problems of the day. Our global experience spans 35 years of diverse project engagement and positions us perfectly to address the current thrust into the much needed renewable energy development of today.

For more information on renewable energy, visit our website at http://www.retecheng.com

Source: EzineArticles
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