Combined Heat & Power and Waste Heat Recovery
Combined Heat and Power (CHP), also known as cogeneration, is the concurrent production of electricity or mechanical power and useful thermal energy (heating and/or cooling) from a single source of energy.
CHP is a type of distributed generation, which, unlike central station generation, is located at or near the point of consumption. Instead of purchasing electricity from a local utility and then burning fuel in a furnace or boiler to produce thermal energy, consumers use CHP to provide these energy services in one energy-efficient step. As a result, CHP doubles fuel efficiency and reduces greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Where opportunity fuels or renewable biomass are available, CHP can take advantage of these for low cost sustainable power and heat.
Waste Heat Recovery generally refers to capturing waste heat that an industrial site or pipeline compressor station is already emitting, and turning it into clean and renewable electricity, recycled thermal energy, or mechanical energy. This is an important resource for vastly improving industrial energy efficiency, improving the competitiveness of the U.S. industrial sector, and providing a source of pollution-free energy.
Through the Southeast Clean Energy Application Center program, the N.C. Solar Center provides CHP and waste heat information, educational events, news, and site assessments.
Combined Heat and Power: Effective Energy Solutions for a Sustainable Future (Oak Ridge National Lab report)