What is Cogeneration?
Technically, cogeneration is the use of energy that can be applied to both manufacturing heating requirements and the generation of electrical energy. In a practical example, a food processing plant requires a certain amount of heat in the cooking process that is generated by natural gas. All excess heat is either dissipated in the plant or it is directed out the chimney flue at the top of the building into the atmosphere. The thermal energy paid for by the food plant is not fully utilized and “lost” into the environment. In a cogeneration scenario, the same thermal heat generated by natural gas used in the food process can be used to drive a turbine generator and the turbine exhaust heat is run through a heat recovery steam generator to make the steam the needed for the plant. Or the heat is captured by a heat exchange system, converted to steam, and then used to run a steam turbine generator to produce electricity for the plant. In either case the electricity is a cost reduction and/or a revenue source by selling the power back to the power company. The plant still receives the heat they need for their process. The applications are numerous.
Sounds too good to be true? It isn’t, and more companies are looking at ways to improve their sustainability, bottom lines, and responsibilities to the environment.
How Do I Know If It Applies To My Company?
What Does It Cost? What Is The Payback?
|Good question. If you want us to own and operate the equipment the capital cost is zero to your company. We take on the fuel bills, like natural gas, and sell you back the heat (steam) and electricity. Your overall energy bills can save between 8 to 14% per year. You also enjoy the benefits of using a green technology that reduces your companies carbon footprint by tons of carbon per year. All of these benefits belong to the company without the need to invest millons of dollars in technology.|
Other Benefits In Addition To Cost Savings? Redundancy
There is a lot of satisfaction in knowing that when you have a cogeneration plant you are squeezing more dollars out of the heating fuel costs you currently are losing into the atmosphere. However, you will also soon realize that you are creating redundant backup systems for your plant such as: an additional source of electrical power and, for steam generators, an additional steam generating plant beyond the current boiler system you are presently using. Generating your own power means that that in the event of a power outage due to storms, brown outs, or power company infrastructure problems, your facility will still have the power it needs to make your product. You will also be able to promote that you are conserving our planet’s natural resources and are reducing your carbon footprint. Finally, you will be providing the stability and sustainability for your company’s long term future. Not a bad deal for installing cogeneration technology.