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Combined Heat & Power (CHP) -A Clean Energy Solution for Industry
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From the late 1970's to the early 1990's cogeneration or CHP saw enormous growth, especially in the process industries. By 1994, CHP provided 42 GW of electricity generation capacity -about 6 percent of the U.S. total. Three manufacturing industries (Pulp and paper -59 Twh; Chemicals -47 Twh; Petroleum refuting -IS Twh) accounted for 85% of all cogenerated electricity in 1994. But since the mid-1990s, installation of new CHP has slowed dramatically. This slow down is due to uncertainties and policies associated with electric utility restructuring and impending environmental regulations. By 1997, a group comprising CHP manufacturers and nonprofit groups had formed to identify these CHP barriers and to work to remove them. At the same time several studies on the role of energy efficiency in greenhouse gas emissions reductions identified CHP as one of the most promising options. These studies showed a key window of opportunity-many new or updated highly-efficient and lower-cost CHP systems will become available just when the industrial "boiler baby boom" retires. These technology opportunities take advantage of advances in materials, power electronics, and computer-aided design techniques have increased equipment efficiency and reliability dramatically, while reducing costs and emissions of pollutants. This next generation of turbines, fuel cells, and reciprocating engines is the result of intensive, collaborative research, development, and demonstration by government and industry. These have allowed for new configurations that reduce size yet increase output. Turbines are now cost-effective for systems down to 50 KW, the size of a small office or restaurant. Even smaller equipment is on the horizon. However, without rapid action, this opportune nexus of market, regulatory, and technology opportunities could dissipate. In fiscal year 1999, we launched the U. S. Department of Energy CHP Challenge program. By 2002 when the Challenge is complete, it should have substantially increased the use of CHP systems in industry and buildings. We estimate that efforts such as CHP Challenge could result in more than 50 MW of additional CHP electricity generation being installed at greater than 60 percent fuel-use efficiency (nearly double the average grid efficiency) by 2010. This paper will report on the first results of CHP Challenge and discuss future activities-especially in the industrial sector.
Parks, H.; Hoffman, P.; Kurtovich, M. (1999). Combined Heat & Power (CHP) -A Clean Energy Solution for Industry. Energy Systems Laboratory. Available electronically from