How Combined Heat and Power Works
Combined Heat and Power (CHP) systems optimize energy dollars by utilizing the heat normally lost during centralized production of electricity to provide thermal energy for space heating, cooling, steam and hot water. It does this through the integration of a power system (such as an engine or turbine) and a heat recovery system (usually a boiler), located on or near the user’s facility
This example compares electric generation from a large power plant (source) to an individual CHP plant (site). A CHP system achieves an efficiency of 85% compared to a separate heat and power system efficiency of only 45%. By capturing the “waste” heat from power generation, CHP delivers total system efficiencies of 75% to 85%.