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Combined Heat and Power

Combined heat and power (CHP)—sometimes called cogeneration—is an integrated set of technologies for the simultaneous, on-site production of electricity and heat. R&D breakthroughs can help U.S. manufacturers introduce advanced technologies and systems to users in the United States and around the world.

CHP and distributed energy systems improve energy efficiency, reduce carbon emissions, optimize fuel flexibility, lower company operating costs, and facilitate market opportunities for the CHP share of U.S. electricity generating capacity.

The CHP R&D project portfolio tests, validates, and deploys innovative CHP and distributed energy for industry and other manufacturing applications. Our projects include advanced reciprocating engine systems (ARES), packaged CHP systems, high-value applications, fuel-flexible CHP, and demonstrations of these technologies. View our current projects:

Advanced Reciprocating Engine Systems (ARES)

An advanced natural gas engine/generator system can increase brake thermal efficiency, reduce NOx emissions, and decrease maintenance costs, while maintaining cost competitiveness.

Packaged CHP Systems

The development of packaged CHP systems suitable for smaller industrial facilities can enable users to avoid complicated and costly system integration and installation but still maximize performance and increase efficiency.

High Efficiency Microturbine with Integral Heat Recovery

Developed a clean, cost-effective 370 kW microturbine with 42% net electrical efficiency and 85% total CHP efficiency. The microturbine technology maximizes usable exhaust energy and achieves ultra-low emissions levels.

Partners: Capstone Turbine Corporation, Chatsworth, CA, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, TN, and NASA Glenn Research Center, Cleveland, OH

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Flexible CHP System with Low NOx, CO and VOC Emissions

Developed a Flexible Combined Heat and Power (FlexCHP) system that incorporates a supplemental Ultra-Low-NOx (ULN) burner into a 65 kW microturbine and a heat recovery boiler. The ULN burner is expected to help the CHP system meet stringent emissions criteria and improve overall system efficiency in a cost-effective manner.

Partners: Gas Technology Institute, Des Plaines, IL, Cannon Boiler Works, New Kensington, PA, Integrated CHP Systems Corp, Princeton Junction, NJ, Capstone Turbine Corporation, Chatsworth, CA, Johnston Boiler Company Ferrysburg, MI, Inland Empire Foods, Riverside, CA

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Low-Cost Packaged Combined Heat and Power System

Developing a flexible, packaged CHP system that produces 330 kW of electrical power output and 410 kW of thermal output while increasing efficiency and reducing emissions and cost. The project resulted in one of the highest-efficiency and lowest-emissions system for a CHP project less than 1 MW in size.

Partners: Cummins Power Generation, Fridley, MN and Cummins Engine Business Unit, Columbus, IN

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Combined Heat and Power Integrated with Burners for Packaged Boilers

Developed the Boiler Burner Energy System Technology (BBEST), a CHP assembly of a gas-fired simple-cycle 100 kilowatt (kW) microturbine and a new ultra-low NOx gas-fired burner, to increase acceptance of small CHP systems.

Partners: CMCE, Inc., Santa Clara, CA, and Altex Technologies Corporation, Sunnyvale, CA

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Descriptions are provided for each CHP R&D project.

High-Value Applications

New high-value CHP technologies and applications can offer attractive end-user economics, significant energy savings, and with reproducible results.

Descriptions are provided for each CHP R&D project.

Fuel-Flexible CHP

Accelerating market adoption of emerging technology and fuel options can improve industry competitiveness through more stable energy prices, cost savings, and decreased emissions. Examples of these technology and fuel options include a biomass gasifiers, gas turbines utilizing opportunity fuels, landfill gas cleanup and removal systems, and desulfurization sorbents for fuel cell CHP.

Descriptions are provided for each CHP R&D project.


The installation of innovative technologies and applications that offer the greatest potential for replication can provide compelling data and information to foster market uptake in manufacturing and other applications.

Descriptions are provided for each CHP R&D project.

*(Funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009)

View our waste energy recovery projects.

Learn more about Industrial Distributed Energy and CHP, including basics, benefits, and
technical assistance activities to help deploy technologies.