Combined Heat and Power
The cutting edge Cornell Central Energy Plant uses combined heat and power to cut carbon emissions by 25%...
Overview of Combined Heat and Power
Commonly known as ‘cogeneration,’ combined heat and power is a way to increase the efficiency of power plants. Standard power plants effectively use just 40 percent of the fuel they burn to produce electricity. The remainder of the fuel used in the electric production process ends up being rejected and "wasted" up the smokestack. Reject heat from a combined heat and power plant on the other hand can be used to heat buildings in a surrounding area through a district energy system. Combined heat and power is only possible however when there is an area near the plant that has a need for the heat – like a university, for example!
If one of our nation's major energy challenges is currently lack of power, combined heat and power can help us double the efficiency of power plants – and even help the environment in the process, since combined heat and power means that less heat and fewer emissions will be rejected into the atmosphere.