Hot Topics in Cogeneration

Energy efficiency program offering incentives for CHP

Projects in Maine could earn up to 70 percent of project cost

Efficiency Maine, an independent administrator for energy efficiency programs in the state, has introduced an incentive program for distributed energy installations including both Tecogen and TEDOM's line of efficient Combined Heat and Power (CHP) systems.

The incentives could cover up to 70 percent of the project cost for the development and installation of systems that reduce grid-supplied electricity for customers served by Maine's electrical utilities.

Combined Heat and Power (CHP), also known as cogeneration, is an efficient, clean, and reliable technology which simultaneously generates electricity and thermal energy from a single fuel source. CHP systems can be appropriate for a variety of facilities, from healthcare and assisted living facilities, to recreational and multi-residential complexes, and hotels. By installing a CHP system designed to meet the thermal and electrical base loads of a facility, CHP can greatly increase the facility's operational efficiency - often cutting a building's energy bills in half.

Efficiency Maine is the independent administrator for energy efficiency programs in the state. The organization's mission is to lower the cost and environmental impacts of energy in Maine by promoting cost-effective energy efficiency and alternative energy systems. The Efficiency Maine bonus offering is available through June 30, 2017 with an application deadline of May 1, 2017. Qualifying projects must meet general cost effectiveness guidelines including:

  • A continuous 24 hour/day electric demand that exceeds the nameplate electric output rating of the CHP unit
  • Thermal loads (including hot water used for process, domestic or HVAC applications) that allow for utilization of nearly 100% of the thermal output available from the CHP installation on a c continuous basis
  • Overall seasonal operating efficiency of 60% or higher
  • Total installed cost of $4,000/kW or installed capacity or less

For information on how to register for an informational webinar on the Efficiency Maine incentive, or to see if a CHP system is a fit for your building, contact Dale Desmarais, Director of Business Development at (413) 315-1778.

TEDOM's CHP Powers Sydney Airport Qantas Terminal

As an operator within the colossal international air travel industry, Australian flag carrier Qantas Airlines has made a successful move in reducing its carbon footprint with a TEDOM-built Combined Heat and Power (CHP) system.

Goldman Energy together with GridX designed, installed, and operate a 12MW plant for Qantas at Sydney Airport utilizing TEDOM's custom packaged energy technology. The TEDOM-powered trigeneration facility at the airport supports multiple facets of the Qantas operation - from the recently-opened Terminal 3 to the maintenance and repair hangars, main offices, and catering facility.

With over 25 years of experience and thousands of installations worldwide, TEDOM is among the leaders in the manufacturing and operating of equipment for Combined Heat and Power production and operating technologies for utilization of renewable energy sources. In 2016, TEDOM partnered with the U.S.-based CHP expert Tecogen to bring TEDOM's efficient cogeneration equipment to the United States market. Offering complimentary CHP technologies, the combined product portfolio of the two companies meets a wide array of customer needs and significantly expands the addressable market for CHP in the United States.

With airports, airlines, and other members of the aviation industry looking at ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from operations, the CHP install at Sydney serves as a positive case study for the technology's utilization at airports. For its environmental efforts, Qantas was awarded the Eco-Aviation Award in 2013 and the Banksia Environmental Award in 2012.

The installation of TEDOM's QUANTO units allowed for the following benefits:

  • Increased electrical efficiency
  • Simple and fast servicing
  • Reliable operation
  • Low emission from exhaust gas
  • Operation with a lean mixture of gas or a three way catalytic converter

From the Czech Republic, TEDOM spent 25 years pioneering the manufacture of equipment designed for the effective and environmentally friendly utilization of energy fuel resources. Similar to Tecogen's long history of cogeneration innovation, TEDOM has refined the packaged CHP concept in Europe. To find out if CHP is right for your building please visit or contact us for a free Site Assessment.

Cogen and the Low Carbon Economy

In its most basic form - carbon footprint refers to the amount of carbon dioxide and other carbon compounds emitted by an individual, organization, or facility. That's a technical way of saying "the amount of carbon your facility is responsible for creating, either indirectly or directly." How is carbon "created"? Typical sources of carbon emissions are related to the burning of fossil fuels for electricity, transportation, heating and cooling, and waste production.

Most calculations of an entity's carbon footprint focus on emissions from direct sources - that is, sources of carbon emissions that are directly controlled by the entity like burning fuel for on-site heating or to power equipment - as well as indirect sources - for instance emissions related to the manufacture of products that are used or consumed on-site but not produced there.

Major sources of a building's carbon emissions? Primarily electricity, heating and air conditioning (HVAC systems).

This is especially true in the USA where electricity accounts for approximately 44% of the average entity's carbon footprint annually. Reviewing your utility bills and conducting some basic calculations reveals a large portion of these impacts.

For example, if a building consumes 500 therms of natural gas, multiply by a factor of 11.7 to get the pounds of carbon dioxide emissions: 500 x 11.7 = 5,580 pounds of CO2 from natural gas use. The same is true for electricity use, where the number of kilowatt-hours consumed over a period is multiplied by the current emissions intensity of your specific grid region (available online through the EPA).

Since energy related carbon footprint represents the bulk of a building's carbon footprint, reduction measures often focus on energy efficiency. That's where cogeneration can be a big help. Because combined heat and power (or CHP) equipment recycles the free waste heat from the electric generation process for other useful applications, installing cogeneration equipment can help cut a building's energy related carbon footprint in half. Similarly, as is the case with cogeneration products from Tecogen Inc., superior electrical efficiency generates additional reductions in carbon emissions by consuming less fuel per kW produced.

Increasingly, organizations are being asked to report their carbon emissions to various stakeholders-including customers, shareholders, and even regulatory organizations. Proactively managing a facility's carbon footprint and taking environmental and green house gas impacts into consideration when making long term planning decisions is becoming smart business as many energy efficiency measures not only cut emissions-but also cut costs.

Why not save some green while going green?

Free Carbon Footprint Calculators

Greenhouse Gas Protocol

UC Berkeley (for small businesses)

EPA (Applicability Tool)

Nature Conservancy

For more information on how to start saving money while reducing your carbon footprint, speak with a Tecogen expert today at 800-678-0550.