Combined heat and power (CHP), also known as cogeneration, is:
A type of distributed generation, which, unlike central station generation, is located at or near the point of consumption.
A suite of technologies that can use a variety of fuels to generate electricity or power at the point of use, allowing the heat that would normally be lost in the power generation process to be recovered to provide needed heating and/or cooling.
CHP technology can be deployed quickly, cost-effectively, and with few geographic limitations. CHP can use a variety of fuels, both fossil- and renewable-based. It has been employed for many years, mostly in industrial, large commercial, and institutional applications. CHP may not be widely recognized outside industrial, commercial, institutional, and utility circles, but it has quietly been providing highly efficient electricity and process heat to some of the most vital industries, largest employers, urban centers, and campuses in the United States. It is reasonable to expect CHP applications to operate at 65-75% efficiency, a large improvement over the national average of ~50% for these services when separately provided.
The CHP Deployment Program recently released five fact sheets that explain the fundamentals and characteristics of five most common CHP technologies: fuel cells, gas turbines, microturbines, reciprocating engines, and steam turbines. Learn more about these CHP technologies:
Fuel Cells (DOE CHP Technology Fact Sheet Series), 4 pp, July 2016
Gas Turbines (DOE CHP Technology Fact Sheet Series), 4 pp, July 2016
Microturbines (DOE CHP Technology Fact Sheet Series), 4 pp, July 2016
Reciprocating Engines (DOE CHP Technology Fact Sheet Series), 4 pp, July 2016
Steam Turbines (DOE CHP Technology Fact Sheet Series), 4 pp, July 2016