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Application of Cogeneration to Small Commercial Systems
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Co-generation is sometimes defined as a customer owned, electrical generating system capable of feeding power back into the Electric Utility lines for compensation. For a long time, the Electric Utility Companies took the position that a customer could use electrical generating equipment for 'Emergency Standby', but only when the Utility power was not available. After all, the power company was in the business of selling power, and didn't want to have its customers in competition with them, whenever they wanted to generate their own power. With the Energy shortage of 1973 and subsequent events, where increased demands for more power were being made upon the Utilities, coupled with complex restrictions being placed upon the construction of new power plants, the utilities found that they needed all the help they could get to meet their peak demands. Recent Supreme Court rulings have now mandated that Utility companies must accept customer generated power, whenever the customer has excess generating capacity, and he should be compensated for same at reasonable rates. These decisions have opened up a 'Pandora's Box' of possible application problems for Design Engineers, which must be carefully addressed.
Cooper, D. S. (1984). Application of Cogeneration to Small Commercial Systems. Energy Systems Laboratory (http://esl.tamu.edu); Texas A&M University (http://www.tamu.edu). Available electronically from