Different CHP Technology Approaches
Combined heat and power (CHP) technology has been around for over one hundred years since Thomas Edison launched the first commercial power grid, The “Pearl Street Station”, in lower Manhattan in 1882. The offices of The New York Times, one of Edison’s earliest electricity customers, reported lighting provided by Pearl Street was “soft, mellow, and grateful to the eye.”
Combined heat and power systems offer many advantages including the ability to utilize the heat that is normally wasted when electricity is being generated. In fact, 65% of all of the energy that goes into generating electricity at your local utility is wasted. It literally goes “up the stack” in the form of waste heat.
However, not all CHP is created equal. The majority of combined heat and power systems on the market today are still highly inefficient at approximately 75% efficiency. This means that at least twenty five percent of the energy being input into their systems is wasted. This leads to higher operating costs and increased emissions.
The main reason for this lack of efficiency is the technology being used is not capable of achieving a high level of “combustion efficiency”.