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Using and Measuring the Combined Heat and Power Advantage
Combined Heat and Power (CHP), also known as cogeneration, refers to the integration of thermal energy with power generation. CHP is a powerful energy conservation measure that has been identified as an important greenhouse gas reduction measure with net economic benefits. It complements other energy conservation measures. CHP can be used any place that heat is needed so it is used with a variety of applications, fuels, and equipment. There are ancillary benefits of CHP to the host site and the public including air quality, reliability, reduced water consumption, and economic development. There is no universal practice for reporting the efficiency of CHP systems which can result in both overstatement and understatement of the benefits of CHP compared to other power generation systems. Fuel Charged to Power (FCP) is the fuel, net of credit for thermal output, required to produce a kilowatt-hour of electricity. This provides a metric that is used for comparison to the heat rate of other types of generation and insight into the development of CHP projects that maximize economic and environmental benefits. Biomass generation is generally less efficient than fossil fuel generation due to size and combustion characteristics, which means that there is more benefit from CHP because there is more waste heat available for recovery. An example is presented demonstrating that CHP significantly improves the economics and environmental benefits for biomass to power.
John, T. (2011). Using and Measuring the Combined Heat and Power Advantage. Energy Systems Laboratory (http://esl.tamu.edu); Texas A&M University (http://www.tamu.edu). Available electronically from