As the technology for small-scale, onsite cogeneration plants continues to improve, many companies are finding that combined heat and power (CHP) solutions are a viable option for offsetting high, unpredictable energy costs. When engineered and implemented correctly, a CHP system not only reduces the prices associated with buying energy from a utility, it provides a level of redundancy that can protect a facility from unnecessary downtime.
Cogeneration is the simultaneous production of heat and power from a single fuel source. A company can use the natural gas it would be using to supply its facility’s thermal load and use that gas instead to power a generator set. Waste heat from the generator’s engine jacket and exhaust stream (which would be allowed to dissipate in a traditional power generation system) can be captured and diverted to supply the facility’s thermal load.
By generating a portion of their electricity onsite and capturing waste heat, some facilities can achieve a significant reduction in their power costs with no substantial increase in natural gas consumption.
To read more about cogeneration, take a look at Martin Hopkins’s white paper at http://goo.gl/uZMxL.