Cogeneration, often called “combined heat and power “(CHP) is defined as the simultaneous production of energy and useful heat. Locally produced energy along with the reuse of waste heat is more efficient then utility produced energy. Cogeneration and trigeneration tap the full potential of on-site power generation to manage overall energy consumption for commercial buildings, hospitals and college campuses. Waste heat is used for both heating and cooling purposes and can have benefits for a customer capable of utilizing both. A trigeneration facility can supply cooling in addition to heat and off-grid power.
Cogeneration applications are better suited for new construction or redevelopment projects as a result of the design and costs concerns. However, cogeneration can be retrofitted into an existing project but will present some installation and design challenges.
Cogeneration facilities also require maintenance related downtime and there’s always a chance of un-planned outages due to equipment failure; both create a situation requiring utility back-up to the cogeneration plant.