What is cogeneration system?

  • A cogeneration system is a single, integrated system in which many forms of useful energy are simultaneously generated mostly electrical and thermal using single sources of fuel.
  • A cogeneration system is also called as combined heat and power (CHP) system.
  • In conventional electricity generation, some part of the energy is loosed as a waste heat but this thermal energy is readily used in cogeneration.
  • The CHP system can be categorized typically by the type of prime mover (heat engine) which is driving the overall system.
  • Moreover, main parts which collectively form a CHP are :
    1. Prime mover
    2. Generator
    3. Heat recovery system
    4. Electrical connections
  • Steam turbines, gas turbines, reciprocating engines are some of the prime movers used for CHP system.
  • These prime movers produce mechanical energy by burning various fuels such as coal, oil, natural gas, etc.
  • Cogeneration which is also known as combined heat and power can be described as two different forms of energy being generated from one single energy source.

These two different forms of energy :

The mechanical energy is usually used to produce electricity through an alternator, or else to work rotating equipment such as compressors, motors or pumps. Thermal energy, on the other hand, can be used for the production of hot water, steam, hot air for dryers or also another typical use is for chilled water for process cooling.

Types of cogeneration systems

The number of different cogeneration systems is used, namely the following:

  • Steam Turbine Cogeneration System
  • Internal Combustion Engine Cogeneration System
  • Gas Turbine Cogeneration System
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