Facilitating Greater Energy-Savings Through Cogeneration

Cogeneration can serve as a pivotal design feature in order to facilitate greater energy-savings and in turn, reduced costs of operation. By operating at higher efficiencies than traditional sources of energy, cogeneration allows building owners to substantially reduce expenditures when compared to costs incurred from typical purchased utilities.

WinWerks has been named one of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’sCombined Heat and Power partners due to its business model which redefines the way clean energy is being created. This model, in tandem with the technology supplied by Tecogen provides a unique, turnkey, and high performance CHP system that cuts your electric bill and immediately boosts the value of your property. Not only will your company experience higher savings with our Tecogen technology, but your company will also be satisfying new energy regulations, like for Bill AB327 and Bill SBX1 2, through drastic reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. 

Cogeneration is garnering endorsements by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), and U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development as more energy policies start to incentivize clean and renewable energy. It is surpassing other clean technology because of its compatibility to the current energy infrastructure, while requiring less initial cost for installation in comparison to solar and wind energy.

Efficiency is the primary benefit of a cogeneration system. Typical power production from a power plant is achieved with roughly 33% efficiency, whereas cogeneration allows for operating efficiencies of up to 75%. Ultimately, the system requires far less fuel in order to achieve a given output of energy. Heat which is normally wasted by traditional electric power plants is captured by cogeneration systems and delivered to the building site as useful energy. Also, by nature of design, cogeneration systems sidestep losses due to transmission and distribution which occur as a result of using the primary electricity grid.

In this diagram, US EPA (http://www.epa.gov/chp/basic/efficiency.html), the efficiency gains from cogeneration are clearly visualized. By combining heat and power production, cogeneration systems achieve an equal output of energy with significantly less fuel. 

Cogeneration systems are optimal for facilities such as hotels, office buildings, and senior homes which draw consistent loads of electricity and hot / cold water. Heat output from cogeneration systems can be used to provide hot water as well as generate cooling by the means of absorption chillers, which in turn reduces overall electricity requirements. Property owners who are considering replacing their air conditioning / chiller system nearing the end of its lifetime would be well suited to consider installing a gas fired chiller instead, which would further increase the efficiency and applicability of a cogeneration system.

Another aspect that makes cogeneration especially useful in hotels, office buildings, and senior care homes is its ability to provide supplementary power and heat during times of peak load on the power grid. During these times, electricity rates are heightened due to the large demand from customers. By installing a cogeneration system, the reliance on outside power inputs is drastically reduced and the costs of using power from the grid are cut significantly.

Overall, the benefits of combined heat and power include less fuel consumption, lower operating costs, decreased greenhouse gas emissions, as well as greater reliability and consistency of power.