Combined heat and power (CHP), also known as cogeneration, is the simultaneous production of electricity and heat from a single fuel source.

Approximately two-thirds of the energy used to create electricity in conventional thermal power plants is lost in the conversion process. CHP is a system that reclaims some of this lost energy by using the "waste" heat to provide heating to the power plant facility or to buildings that are connected to the power plant by a steam pipe network known as district energy. CHP increases the energy efficiency of power generation to up to 80 percent and is best suited for urban areas, industrial parks, college campuses, military bases and other communities that are close enough to their power sources to use the cogenerated heat.

CHP is well-established worldwide, particularly in the Scandinavian countries. In Denmark, CHP systems account for over 50 percent of total power production. However, the global penetration of CHP is less than 10 percent. World leaders at the 2007 G8 Summit issued a declaration which calls for nations to “adopt instruments and measures to significantly increase the share of combined heat and power in the generation of electricity.” The International Energy Agency also has recommended CHP, noting that CHP “is an integrative technology that can make significant contributions to reducing emissions of carbon dioxide and air pollution and to increasing energy security.”


Design of a CHP/District Energy System


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