A Tecogen cogeneration system delivers two forms of energy (electricity, plus hot water or chilled water) from a single fuel source. This is where the “co” in cogeneration comes from. Cogeneration is also sometimes called Combined Heat and Power (CHP).
By utilizing the free “waste” heat available from a Tecogen system, in addition to the electricity produced, an end-user can achieve overall operating efficiencies much higher than a “conventional” system ever could (e.g. a utility power plant and the end-user’s on-site boiler).
A Tecogen system uses a proven natural gas-fueled engine to generate electricity. Electricity is fed into the building, thereby reducing the facility’s electrical consumption and bill significantly.
At the same time, free “waste” heat is recovered from the cogeneration system’s engine oil, jacket, and exhaust heat. Captured heat is then used to offset fuel that would otherwise have to be burned in the site’s water heaters and boilers. This allows the site’s boilers to not have to work as hard. So the site’s gas bill (e.g., for space heating, domestic hot water/ DHW, process hot water, pool heating, etc.) goes down, too.
Waste heat captured from the cogeneration system can even be fed into a device called an absorption chiller, which is able to convert the waste heat into cooling. This relieves the site’s other chillers (typically, electricity-powered) from having to do so much of the site’s air conditioning.
The best applications for Tecogen cogeneration systems are in facilities that have consistent electrical and thermal needs, including: hospitals, nursing homes, colleges, schools, recreational facilities, government buildings, large residential facilities, industrial facilities, hotels, and ice rinks.