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Combined Heat and Power system use a technology that combines two processes into one. Typically there are coal powered plants that have the sole purpose of creating electricity by heating water to create steam and running it though a turbine that powers a generator. There are also plants whose sole purpose is to that provide steam for urban areas called district heat. A CHP system combines these two plants: create steam that rotates the turbine for generating electricity, and steam that come from the turbine goes to an urban area. This system drastically increases the efficiency of energy consumption. CHP systems are defined by what kind of engine produces electricity such as a turbine or reciprocating engine. There are several other components that make up a CHP system such as prime mover, generator, heat recovery system, electrical interconnection equipment configured into a integrated system, as shown Figure 1
Power plants generate heat in order to boil water to power steam turbines that generate energy. During this heat transfer process only about 30% of the heat is actually used to convert energy. The other 70% of heat is expelled into the surrounding atmosphere. CHP technology utilizes this wasted heat to heat up potable water and heating environments that need it rather then the atmosphere.
CHP also has the potential to make a facility independent from its electricity supplier. In essence making a facility its own power plant. All that would be needed would be fuel (such as natural gas) and water. Both sources are typically routed through sub-terrain systems that are more stabile then power lines. CHP systems would become most effective in times of disasters or power outages where supply of electricity is at risk.
Biomass CHP Catalog of Technologies
The Biomass CHP Catalog of Technologies (PDF) (123 pp, 2.4 MB) provides resource owners, facility managers, developers, policymakers, and other interested parties with a detailed technology characterization of biomass CHP systems. The report reviews the technical and economic characterization of biomass resources, biomass preparation, energy conversion technologies, power production systems, and complete integrated systems.
Download chapters from the Biomass CHP Catalog of Technologies:
Introduction and Overview (PDF) (16 pp, 139K)