Cogeneration, a.k.a. Combined Heat and Power, May Be the Future of HVAC – Follow Up
We continue to discuss and follow up on the blog’s most popular posts since inception in 2008. “Cogeneration, a.k.a. Combined Heat and Power, May Be the Future of HVAC” is another of our top post. Pay attention to the news headlines and you’ll see why.
In March, news headlines announced the opening of a biomass cogeneration facility in South Carolina. The Savannah River nuclear science site burns wood chips and tires at around 1,700 degrees to produce steam for two boilers. The steam generates power to run 30% of the plant operations needed for heating, electricity and cleaning, according to The Huffington Post.
The federal government paid Ameresco Inc. $795 million for a 20-year contract to design and operate the plant. So far it’s the largest renewable energy contract ever enacted by the federal government. Officials predict the plant will remove as much as 100,000 tons of greenhouse gases from the environment every year.
During April the Ohio Senate began discussing legislation that would include cogeneration in the renewable energy definition, putting it on an equal footing with wind farm development. The lawmakers recognize the ability of the technology to generate substantial energy savings. A 2008 report by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory identifies Ohio as a state with one of the highest potentials for cogeneration technology, according to Midwest Energy News.
While cogeneration is typically associated with heating and energy generation, Southern California Gas Company announced plans in May to use Congenra Solar technology to do otherwise. The project is in its testing phase, but the solar panels are being tested for their ability to cool instead of heat. The technology captures the heat and uses it to run chillers and air-conditioning systems, reducing the electricity needed during peak demand times.
In May, Ecogeneration profiled the The Prince Charles Hospital cogeneration project in Queensland, Australia. Cogeneration was installed in the hospital in 2010 as an effort to reduce energy costs and greenhouse gas emissions. The plant is expected to have a lifespan of 15 years. Currently 70% of the facility’s energy needs are met by cogeneration technology, according to Cogeneration & On-Site Power Production.
In this video Maven Power’s President, David Oehl, demonstrates the feasibility of industrial cogeneration facilities. Oehl points out the optimal industries most conducive to cogeneration. He presents a project case outlining the cost and value benefits of the technology.
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