What is Combined Heat and Power (CHP)?

July 8, 2022

Combined heat and power (CHP) is the simultaneous cogeneration of electricity and heat. Cogeneration is a highly efficient form of energy conversion and using gas engines it can achieve primary energy savings of approximately 40% compared to the separate purchase of electricity from the electricity grid and gas for use in a boiler.

If the fuel for the gas engine is renewable such as biogas, hydrogen, syngas or biomethane, CHP can be a highly sustainable source of electricity and heat.

CHP is a technology that produces electricity and thermal energy at high efficiencies using a range of technologies and fuels. 

Benefits:

  • Losses are minimised

With on-site power production, losses are minimised and heat that would otherwise be wasted is applied to facility loads in the form of process heating, steam, hot water, or even chilled water. 

  • Can provide constant power

CHP equipment can provide resilient power 24/7 in the event of grid outages, and it can be paired with other distributed energy technologies like solar photovoltaics (PV) and energy storage.

  • A more efficient technology

When heat and power are generated separately, they are less efficient and lose nearly two thirds of the energy to the atmosphere. CHP technologies capture and use the heat that would otherwise escape and be wasted. With this increased efficiency, CHP systems can emit less carbon emissions than separate heat and grid power.

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