Commercial, Industrial and Utility Clients Become
More Efficient, Profitable & Environmentally-Responsible
When Making Their Own Energy With Trigeneration
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The Renewable Energy Institute
Monty Goodell, M.B.A.
President and CEO
Cogeneration Technologies & Trigeneration Technologies Companies
Wholly-owned subsidiary of EcoGeneration Solutions, LLC
at efficiencies now exceeding 90%, is the simultaneous production of cooling, heating and power, in one
process. Trigeneration, when compared to (combined-cycle)
cogeneration, may be up to 50% more efficient than cogeneration. When
found in a hospital, university, office-campus, military base, downtown or
group of office buildings, has also been referred to as a "district energy
system" or "integrated energy system" and as previously
mentioned, can be dramatically more efficient and environmentally friendly than "cogeneration."
A trigeneration plant, defined in non-engineering terminology, is most often described as a cogeneration plant that has added absorption chillers - which takes the "waste heat" a cogeneration plant would have "wasted," and converts this "free energy" that would have been wasted by cogeneration, into useful energy in the form of chilled water.
The trigeneration energy process produces four different forms of energy from the primary energy source, namely, hot water, steam, cooling (chilled water) and power generation (electrical energy).
Trigeneration has also been referred to as CHCP (combined heating, cooling and power generation), this option allows having greater operational flexibility at sites with demand for energy in the form of heating as well as cooling. This is particularly relevant in tropical countries where buildings need to be air-conditioned and many industries require process cooling.
Example of a Gas Turbine Based Trigeneration Facility
Although cooling can be provided by conventional vapor compression chillers driven by electricity, low quality heat (i.e. low temperature, low pressure) exhausted from the cogeneration plant can drive the absorption chillers so that the overall primary energy consumption is reduced. Absorption chillers have recently gained widespread acceptance due to their capability of not only integrating with cogeneration systems but also because they can operate with industrial waste heat streams. The benefit of power generation and absorption cooling can be realized through the following example that compares it with a power generation system with conventional vapor compression system.
Trigeneration Example by the numbers
A factory requires 1 MW of electricity and 500 refrigeration tons* (RT). The gas turbine generates electricity required for the on-site energy processes as well as the conventional vapor compression chiller.
Assuming an electricity demand of 0.65 kW/RT, the compression chiller needs 325 kW of electricity to obtain 500 RT of cooling. Therefore, a total of 1325 kW of electricity must be provided to this factory. If the gas turbine efficiency has an efficiency of 30 per cent, primary energy consumption would be 4417 kW.
However, a cogeneration system with an absorption chiller (thereby making this a "trigeneration" plant) can provide the same energy service (power and cooling) by consuming only 3,333 kW of primary energy versus 4417 kW thereby saving nearly 25% in primary energy usage. This is why a trigeneration plant is even more efficient than a cogeneration plant.
This example clearly points out the advantages of trigeneration over cogeneration. A trigeneration plant (with an absorption chiller) can save about 24.5 per cent of primary energy in comparison with a cogeneration plant and vapor compression chiller.
Additionally, a smaller prime mover leads to not only lower capital cost but also less standby charge during the system breakdown because steam needed for the chiller can still be generated by auxiliary firing of the waste heat boiler.
Since many industries and commercial buildings need combined power and heating and cooling, trigeneration plants have very high potentials for industrial and commercial application - with the associated energy and economic savings inherent with trigeneration.
* Note : A refrigeration ton (RT) is defined as the transfer of heat at the rate of 3.52 kW, which is roughly the rate of cooling obtained by melting ice at the rate of one ton per day.
This example and information courtesy of ASHRAE
ever-increasing numbers, more and more commercial, industrial and utility
companies and businesses are seeking ways to use energy more
efficiently. This is a direct result of dramatically increasing electric
and natural gas rates, decreased power reliability (black-outs,
brown-outs, rolling black-outs and other power interruptions) as well as
competitive and economic pressures to cut expenses, increase air quality,
and reduce emissions of air pollutants and greenhouse gasses.
The Kyoto Protocol, while not ratified in the
United States, continues to be another major driver in much of the rest of the world.
United States, "trigeneration" is becoming a preferred method to
produce a company's, building or facility’s power and energy
requirements. Trigeneration is also providing a strategic
competitive advantage for those companies who install an onsite
trigeneration system. Another reason more companies are considering
trigeneration is the ever-increasing expense of natural gas – which
behooves commercial, industrial and even utility customers – to extract
as many of the available BTU’s as possible.
is an energy and power production technology that takes cogeneration one
additional step. Cogeneration, also known as combined heat and power (CHP),
is the simultaneous production of electricity and useful heat, usually in
the form of either hot water or steam, from one primary fuel, such as
natural gas. While not necessarily defined correctly, cogeneration has
also been referred to as district energy, total energy, combined cycle and
simply cogen. Cogeneration has been mostly a technology used in the
utilities and industrial marketplace.
as the name implies, refers to the simultaneous production of three useful
energies, and is defined as the
simultaneous production of heat and power, just like cogeneration, except
trigeneration takes cogeneration one step further by also producing
chilled water for air conditioning or process use with the addition of
absorption chillers that take the waste heat from a cogeneration plants to
make chilled water for cooling a building.
Trigeneration has also recently been referred to;
* Integrated energy systems (IES)
* Buildings, Cooling, Heating and Power
* Combined Cooling, Heating and Power
* Cooling, Heating and Power for Buildings
* CHP systems for buildings
even greater operational flexibility at businesses with demand for energy
in the form of heating as well as cooling. Just as a cogeneration power
plant captures and makes use of the waste heat, absorption or adsorption
chillers capture the waste (or rejected) heat and produce chilled water.
energy and power systems are found in commercial applications typically
where there is a need for air conditioning or chilled water by the
When a trigeneration energy and
power system is installed “onsite,” that is, where the electrical and
thermal energy is needed by the customer, so that the electrical energy
does not have to be transported hundreds of miles away, and the thermal
energy is utilized, system efficiencies can reach and surpass 90%.
Onsite trigeneration plants are
much more efficient, economically-sound and environmentally-friendly than
typical (central) power plants. Because
of this, customers have energy expenses that are significantly lower, and
the associated pollution is also much less than if the customer had an
energy system supplied with electricity from the grid, and had water
heaters and boilers systems “onsite.”
Trigeneration’s superior efficiencies surpass even the latest
“state-of-the-art” combined cycle cogeneration power plants by up to
50%. Coupled with a 4-pipe system, these businesses can produce hot
water/steam and chilled water simultaneously, for circulation throughout
the building or campus – which would be referred to as a district energy
And size is not an impediment, since trigeneration systems can be
installed, for example, in small commercial settings, such as restaurants,
hotels, schools, office buildings and shopping centers to large petro-chemical
plants, refineries and in a city’s downtown area, providing the energy
requirements for multiple buildings… and still remaining at system
efficiencies of 90%.
defines the optimization of economic and ecological benefits in the
power generation process. EcoGeneration
produces huge savings for our environment through the reduction, or even
elimination of of pollution associated with power and energy production
and generation. Additionally,
ecogeneration appeals to our clients’ economic bottom-line by providing
them with significant fuel and electrical savings.
technologies that fall under ecogeneration include; wind, solar,
geothermal, hydrogen fuel, hydrogen fuel cells, soybean diesel fuels,
ocean/tidal power, waste to energy/waste to fuel and waste to watts,
combined cycle, district energy, cogeneration, trigeneration and even
quadgeneration power plants.
are two major ecogeneration initiatives and technologies we will discuss
in greater length in this article; cogeneration and and a newer
technology, “trigeneration.” Trigeneration, is one of the most
attractive options which is even more efficient and economically rewarding
than its cousin, cogeneration.
of 120 Year-Old Cogeneration Technology Leads the Way to a Brighter Future
for Trigeneration and Even Quadgeneration Technologies
Many people know that Thomas
Edison built the first commercial power plant.
However, most people do not know that
’s first commercial power plant
known as the “Pearl Street Station” – built in 1882, in
, was also a cogeneration power plant!
Because cogeneration and
trigeneration continues to be the most efficient method of generating
electrical and thermal energy, in terms of energy output, the Department
of Energy has called for the doubling of electrical power generated from
cogeneration power plants – from the existing 46 GW (one gigawatt =
1,000 MW) to 92 GW by the year 2010. When this goal is reached,
cogeneration will represent about 14% of the total
generating capacity of
electricity. The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE)
estimates that an additional 95 GW of cogeneration capacity could
be added between 2010-2020, resulting in 29% of total U.S. electric power
generation being generated through cogeneration.
is also dramatically increasing
the number of cogeneration power plants over the next decade.
And the historical basis and
success of cogeneration, has been the foundational basis for expanding the
efficiencies of cogeneration to trigeneration and even quadgeneration –
with each new increase in energies recovered resulting in higher
efficiencies and lower fuel/energy costs and fewer related emissions.
President George W.
Bush’s National Energy Plan
, President George W. Bush’s
National Energy Plan recognizes the important role that is found in
cogeneration technologies - and it plays an important role in meeting
national energy objectives and maintaining comfort and safety in
commercial markets and office buildings.
Released in May 2001, President Bush’s National Energy Plan
states in section 3-5 of the National Energy Plan, states;
family of technologies known as combined heat and power (CHP) can achieve
efficiencies of 80% or more. In
addition to environmental benefits, cogeneration projects offer efficiency
and cost savings in a variety of settings, including industrial boilers,
energy systems, and small, building scale applications.
At industrial facilities alone, there is potential for an
additional 124,000 MW of efficient power from gas-fired cogeneration,
which could result in annual emissions reductions of 614,000 tons of Nox
emissions and 44 million tos of carbon equivalent.
Cogeneration is also one of a group of clean, highly reliable,
distributed energy technologies that reduce the amount of electricity lost
in transmission while eliminating the need to construct expensive power
lines to transmit power from large central power plants.”
President Bush’s National
Energy Plan includes:
Promotion of cogeneration
through flexible environmental permitting.
Issuing of guidelines to
encourage development of highly efficient and
Greater promotion of
cogeneration at abandoned brownfield industrial and
Pollution Associated with
Inefficient Power Plants
Currently, power plants in the
U.S. have been cited for producing two-thirds of its’ annual sulfur
dioxide emissions, one-quarter of the nitrogen oxide emissions, one-third
of mercury emissions, and one-third of carbon dioxide emissions.
These resulting pollutants produce serious environmental and health
Increased sick days in
areas with high urban smog levels.
Ling problems in the young
and old, including increased rates of asthma
and chronic bronchitis.
Global climate change.
Urban haze and smog.
Acidification of lakes,
streams, rivers and oceans.
Dead, and dying lakes,
stream, rivers and wildlife in and near these areas.
“Curing” the problems
associated with inefficient electrical power generation begins with
pollution prevention. The choices are clear, we must stop wasting energy
and start increasing the efficiency of power generation facilities.
Instead of building inefficient, wasteful, pollution-generating
“central” power plants owned by utility companies, where the thermal
energy is “wasted,” we need to start building efficient, onsite power
plants where the heat energy can be utilized. These onsite cogeneration,
trigeneration and quadgeneration power and energy systems are also
referred to as “distributed generation” or “distributed energy”
technologies. They can be installed easily, affordably and they operate
economically throughout their life-cycle.
understands that resolving these problems must start with pollution
prevention, which equates to using fewer energy resources to produce goods
and services. The National Energy Plan includes four specific
recommendations to promote CHP, three of which were directed to EPA for
promotion of CHP through
flexible environmental permitting.
issuing of guidance to
encourage development of highly efficient and low- emitting CHP through
shortened lead times and greater certaint.y
promotion of the use of CHP
at abandoned brownfield industrial or commercial sites.
follow-up to those recommendations, EPA joined with 18 Fortune 500
companies, city and state governments, and non-profit organizations in
February 2002 in
, to announce the EPA Combined Heat and Power Partnership (CHPP). The
CHPP aims to advance CHP as a more efficient, clean and reliable
alternative to conventional electricity generation. The Partnership now
boasts nearly 50 partners, including state and local regulators, end
users, project developers, and equipment suppliers.
Clean, Onsite Power and
Energy Systems for
Industrial and Commercial Customers
locates smaller and more efficient power plants where the power and
thermal energy is actually needed. These
onsite power systems are also called “inside the fence” power systems
and are designed and engineered to maximize the customer’s power and
Companies such as EcoGeneration
Solutions, LLC (EGS) provide its’ customers turnkey, optimized energy
solutions – starting with a comprehensive engineering nd feasibility
study. This helps determine
the optimum-sized power system
based on their energy requirements, location, energy consumption patterns,
and local electric rates.
For some clients, EGS offers an
energy solution wherein EGS will make the investment, with litle to no
investment from the client. These
customers are first qualified and then EGS will design, build, own and
operate the trigeneration system for their clients.
According to Monty Goodell, EGS’ President & CEO, “we become the
clean-green onsite utility company for our clients." Adding,
"as a company that is focused solely on the optimum power and energy
solution, we must be equipment and vendor-neutral. We are seeking the
optimum power and energy system solution for our customers if we are the
developer, as well as our company if we build/own/operate and maintain the
trigeneration system." EGS' turnkey trigeneration system
development includes; preliminary engineering review, engineering study,
permitting, project financing or investment, construction, operations and
maintenance. For most clients, EGS saves them an
immediate 10% off of their existing energy expenses if EGS owns and
operates the new trigeneration power and energy system.
"When our client does not have the capital or budget to make the
investment in an onsite co/tri/quadgeneration system, and if they qualify,
we come and determine an optimized solution, and when our client and EGS
agree on the terms, we offer our Power Purchase Agreement, and it’s a
truly “win-win” situation for some of our clients. Mr Goodell
continues, “of course, this situation is one of the options available
for our clients, and fits our business model, but not all of our
client’s opt for this option. Most
of our client’s are quite sophisticated in terms of being able to run
these onsite power systems. Many
are choosing to maximize on their savings by purchasing and operating the
systems we offer them.”
Energy Information (EIA) Administration of the Department of Energy
recently sponsored a study to estimate the potential for new trigeneration
power and energy systems in the
According to their study, there
are 1,431,805 buildings in the United States that are suitable for onsite
cogeneration power systems (most of these are actually better suited for
“trigeneration”) requiring a capacity of 77,281 MW. At an average of
$2 million per MW, this translates into a $154 Billion market opportunity
‘quadgeneration’ is a possibility,” according to Mr. Goodell,
“taking even trigeneration one further step, quadgeneration produces 4
energies from one process. By
extracting most of the available heat from the power/energy
generation process, end-users obtain the most efficient, optimized energy
system.” But the efficiency gains are wasted if the recovered waste heat
is not put to work or the existing boilers or water heaters
displaced, reduced or eliminate entirely. This is why it is
absolutely critical that a thorough and complete feasibility is critical
in the determination of a properly sized onsite energy system, and that
outdated systems are either eliminated,
compensated for or integrated into the new energy system. It should
go without saying, but if the facility that installs a trigeneration or
quadgeneration system does not replace or reduce other systems, there can
be a net loss of efficiency. If
the facility does not offset the net efficiency gains of the new
trigeneration system by reducing, displacing or eliminating the existing
water heaters/boilers load, then the facility will not have an
“optimized” installation and therefore will not profit to the extent
they could have had the feasibility and design studies been properly
Trigeneration and even QuadGeneration Takes the Lead
Over Cogeneration Due to Superior
Efficiencies and Increased Energy Expenses
More onsite energy/power systems in
are going with “trigeneration” rather than cogeneration.
A trigeneration system consists of a cogeneration plant, and either
absorption or adsorption chillers that produce chilled water by making use
of some of the waste heat recovered from the cogeneration power plant.
Presentation of a Gas Turbine Based QUADGENERATION Facility
Providing Four Energies (output) from One Fuel Input
While cooling can be provided by electric-driven compression chillers,
low quality heat (i.e. low temperature, low pressure) that is not used by
the cogeneration power plant, can be used to drive the absorption or
adsorption chillers so that the overall primary energy consumption is
Trigeneration power plants with absorption and/or adsorption chillers
have gained widespread acceptance due to their capability of not only
integrating with cogeneration systems but also because they can operate
with industrial waste heat streams that can be fairly substantial. The
benefit of power generation and absorption or adsorption cooling can be
realized through the following example that compares it with a power
generation system with conventional electric-driven compression systems.
Efficiency Over Cogeneration by the Numbers
(Example courtesy of ASHRAE)
Assume in this example a factory needs 1 MW of electricity and 500
refrigeration tons (RT) (Definition: A
refrigeration ton (RT) is defined as the transfer of heat at the rate of
3.52 kW, which is roughly the rate of cooling obtained by melting ice at
the rate of one ton per day).
Let us first consider the gas turbine that generates electricity
required for the processes as well as the conventional electric-driven
compression chiller. With an electricity demand of 0.65 kW/RT, the
compression chiller needs 325 kW of electricity to obtain 500 RT of
cooling. Therefore, a total of
1325 kW of electricity must be provided to this factory. If the gas
turbine efficiency has an efficiency of 30 per cent, primary energy
consumption would be 4417 kW.
diagram of power generation and cooling with electricity
However, a trigeneration system (with absorption or adsorption chillers
– by definition) can provide the same energy service (power and cooling)
by consuming only 3,333 kW of primary energy. See below:
Schematic diagram of power
generation and absorption cooling
In this example, the trigeneration power plant saves about 24.54%
of the “primary energy” in this case as opposed to the
cogeneration power plant with electric-driven compression chillers.
Since many industries and commercial buildings in tropical
countries need combined power and heating/cooling, the cogeneration
systems with absorption cooling have very high potentials for industrial
and commercial application.
In addition to producing power/electricity and hot water/steam,
trigeneration also produces chilled water for air conditioning or other
When compared to "combined-cycle" cogeneration,
trigeneration can be up to 50%
more efficient than cogeneration, further reducing operating costs, fuel
expenses and environmental pollutants.
Trigeneration systems for
commercial buildings are very profitable investments for the building
owners. A new trigeneration
system might pay for itself in as little as 2 years, depending on local
electric rates, natural gas (or other fuel) costs, and the load profile of
the building. Trigeneration
systems help not only the building owners, but also benefit society in
many ways, including:
increased power reliability
reduced power requirements
on the electric grid
reduced energy consumption
reduced dependence on
onsite trigeneration system can be economically attractive for many types
of buildings and businesses, including, but not limited to the following:
Colleges & universities
with trigeneration systems use them to produce their own electricity, and
use the unused excess (waste) heat for process steam, water heating, space
heating, air-conditioning, and other thermal needs.
quadgeneration systems are so energy efficient and profitable that ROI’s
of 8 months to 36 months are achievable. Mr. Goodell adds, “because
every situation is unique, a feasibility study is an absolute requirement
before just ordering any trigeneration system, as there are so many
different manufacturers, not to mention the externalities, and
internalities that need to be examined and reviewed to find an optimized
The following is from the
Buildings, Cooling, Heating and Power website www.bchp.org; “Energy
is the most significant driving force of our economy. All buildings need
electric power for lighting and operating equipment and appliances. One of
the major consumers of energy in buildings is the equipment for space
conditioning. Most commercial and institutional buildings for businesses,
education, and healthcare require space conditioning for cooling, heating,
and/or humidity control.”
Since the 1930’s approximately two-thirds of all the fuel used to
make electricity in the
is generally wasted by central power plants in the form of unused thermal
energy, in the electrical generation process – either into the air or
discharging into water. While there have been impressive energy efficiency
gains in other sectors of the economy since the oil price shocks of the
1970's, the average efficiency of power generation within the U.S. has
remained around 27% - 35% for nearly 70 years.
Today’s combined-cycle power plants – which is a form of
cogeneration, are only about 60% efficient.
From the Buildings, Cooling, Heating & Power website at www.bchp.org;
“Integrated systems for cooling, heating and power (CHP) systems
significantly increase efficiency of energy utilization, up to 85%, by
using thermal energy from power generation equipment for cooling, heating
and humidity control systems. These systems are located at or near the
building using power and space conditioning, and can save about 40% of the
input energy required by conventional systems. In other words,
conventional systems require 65% more energy than the integrated systems,
as shown in the above diagram.
Commercial buildings, college campuses, hospital complexes, and
government facilities are good candidates for benefiting from integrated
systems for CHP for buildings.”
Improved Power Reliability
Economic losses due to power outages in the
have cost American businesses billions of dollars. The following table
shows the economic impact of power outages on some industries.
Average Cost of Power Outage $/hr
Power outages and rolling blackouts are occurring more frequently.
And they are no longer isolated to
. ERCOT, in Texas, recently
shut-down 17 power plants, some less than 2 years old, leading many to
believe that Texas may be
following California with black-outs where Texas, to date, has never had a
power shortage. Many other
states have power shortages and power availability problems. Like any
commodity, these problems normally occur when demand for power exceeds its
supply, for example, on hot days when demand for power, for
air-conditioning, increases. Also
occuring during extremely cold days when demand for power for providing
heating increases. There are
many areas where grid congestion and limits to handle the required demand
for electricity, or the grid’s inability to supply the demand for
electricity in specific areas, creates additional problems.
Weather-related storms knock out power when trees fall on power
lines, transformers blow, substation transformers fail. Trigeneration
systems for buildings eliminate these problems because power generation
equipment is at or near the building sites and helps reduce load on the
power grid and local area lines and thus, helps improve power reliability.
Equals Improved Environmental Quality and
Reduced Energy Consumption
Trigeneration has also recently been linked to “sustainable energy”
as it improves the efficiency of energy utilization to as much as 90% and
more, compared to that of about 25% to 35% for central power plants, to as
much as 55% for combined-cycle power plants, which is also another form of
cogeneration, depending on the specific system. But when primary
fuel (natural gas) expenses reach the $5 - $6.00/mmbtu range, even the
most efficient combined cycle power plants cannot compete with coal.
This is another reason why onsite trigeneration systems high system
efficiencies are a profitable solution for business and industry, as 2-3
year ROI’s are still possible with trigeneration, even when natural gas
costs are in excess of $6/mmbtu.
Because the overall increased system efficiency of energy utilization,
with trigeneration, decreases the amount of fossil fuel consumed per unit
of energy used – this leads to significant reductions in air emissions
by 40% to 70% and more, depending on the systems, compared to conventional
centralized power plants.
Also of increasing interest, is the relationship of indoor air quality
to our health. In order to prevent the growth of mold, mildew and
bacteria, it is important to keep humidity in the indoor air to below 60%.
Trigeneration used in buildings improves indoor air quality by supporting
the use of a desiccant dehumidification system to dry the air. Desiccant
systems use a material that directly removes the moisture from the air
then use heat, such as that provided by the exhaust gases of the power
generation equipment in the CHP system, to regenerate the desiccant. This
provides a very energy efficient and cost effective method of
dehumidifying indoor air, rather that using an air conditioner to
"over cool" the air to remove humidity.
Reduced Energy Consumption
As discussed above, trigeneration systems for buildings increases the
overall efficiency of energy utilization to 90% and more. Therefore, the
use of these systems reduces the consumption of fossil fuels, for a unit
of energy required for a building, by about 40% of that used by
conventional systems. In other words, conventional systems require 65%
more energy than the integrated systems.
This is important for prolonging the period of availability of our
scarce fossil fuel resources (natural gas, oil and coal) and reducing our
dependence on imported fuel and on nuclear energy.”
Past History and Success of
Cogeneration Leading to
Even Brighter Future and New Technologies Such as
Trigeneration and even Quadgeneration
Because cogeneration has proved to be very
efficient in terms of energy output, the Department of Energy is calling
for the doubling of electrical power generated from cogeneration power
plants from the existing 46 gigawatts* (GW - *
A unit of power equal to 1 billion Watts; 1 million kilowatts, or 1,000
) or about 8% of our nation’s existing electrical production, to
92 GW by the year 2010. When
this goal is achieved, cogeneration will represent about 14% of US
electric generating capacity. The American Council for an
Energy-Efficiency Economy (ACEEE) estimates that an additional 95 GW of
cogeneration capacity could be added between 2010 and 2020, resulting in
29% of total capacity.
is also dramatically increasing the number of cogeneration power plants
there and has also called for a doubling in power generated through
cogeneration over the next 10 years.
power plants are responsible for two-thirds of the nation's annual sulfur
dioxide emissions, one-quarter of nitrogen oxide emissions, one-third of
mercury emissions, and one-third of carbon dioxide emissions. These
emissions contribute to serious environmental problems, including global
climate change, acid rain, haze, acidification of waterways, and
eutrophication of estuaries. These same emissions contribute to numerous
health problems, such as chronic bronchitis and aggravation of asthma,
particularly in children.
Advantages of Onsite Trigeneration Energy & Power
Commercial and Institutional Buildings and
Cogeneration and trigeneration are universally accepted as
the most energy-efficient means of producing electricity.
Cogeneration now produces almost 10% of our nation's
electricity and 10% of electricity produced globally.
Cogeneration saves its customers up to 50% on their energy
expenses. Trigeneration savings are even greater.
Provides even greater savings to our environment through
significantly reduced emissions associated with power plants.
Backed by environmental groups such as the Sierra Club and
the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is promoting the
use of more electricity to be produced through cogeneration power plants.
The E.P.A. recently formed the “CHP/Cogeneration Partnership”
to foster more cogeneration power plants to meet our nation’s
Cogeneration is proven technology that has been around over
100 years and not the latest industry buzz-word being touted as the
solution to our nation's energy problems. The world’s first power plant
designed and built by Thomas Edison in 1882 was a cogeneration plant
Two-thirds of the fuel used to make electricity today in the
is wasted. While there have been impressive energy efficiency gains in
other sectors of the economy since the oil price shocks of the 1970s, the
average efficiency of power generation in the
has stagnated at around 33 percent since 1960.
The thermal losses in power plants total approximately 23
quadrillion BTUs of energy, representing one-quarter of total energy
consumption in the United States, enough energy to fuel the nation's
entire transportation fleet, Japan's entire economy, or the annual energy
production of Saudi Arabia. This energy waste means higher than needed
emissions of pollutants like sulfur dioxides, oxides of nitrogen,
particulates, volatile organic compounds, and greenhouse gases
A new trigeneration power plant may pay for itself in as
little as 2-3 years.
It is important to note that increasing the use of
cogeneration and trigeneration systems is - and has been, for over one
hundred years one of the best technologies available for reducing
greenhouse gas emissions and other pollutants found in the typical power
plant as well as a means for conserving fuel and reducing our reliance on
foreign oil and energy supplies.
The Kyoto Protocol, while not being ratified here in the
, is moving ahead with ratification throughout the rest of the world.
Countries throughout much of
view cogeneration and trigeneration as the single best energy technology
to meet the stringent emissions requirements of the Kyoto Protocol.
Primary fuels commonly used in trigeneration include natural
gas, oil, diesel fuel, propane, coal, wood, wood-waste and bio-mass. These
"primary" fuels are used to make electricity that is a
"secondary" energy. This is why electricity, when compared on a
btu to btu basis, is typically 3-4 times more expensive than primary fuels
such natural gas.
typical trigeneration power plant consists of an engine, steam turbine, or
combustion turbine that drives an electrical generator. A waste heat
exchanger recovers waste heat from the engine and/or exhaust gas to
produce hot water or steam. In trigeneration power plants, an absorption
or adsorption chiller is added to a cogeneration system to convert the
waste heat from a cogeneration system to make chilled water for air
produces a given amount of electric power and process heat with 20% to 30%
less fuel than it takes to produce the electricity and process heat
produces chilled water, in addition to electric power and process heat
with approximately 50% less fuel than it takes to produce electricity,
process heat and chilled water separately. And when primary fuels such as
natural gas increase
Technologies and Trigeneration Technologies are subsidiaries of
EcoGeneration Solutions, LLC (EGS), a privately-held company which was
formed in 2002 to assist our customers increase their power reliability
and reduce energy and power expenses.
Cogeneration Technologies serves the utility and industrial markets while
Trigeneration Technologies serves the commercial marketplace.
We develop and implement optimized energy solutions that improve
the global environment by producing clean energy from fuels such as
natural gas (including liquefied natural gas and compressed natural gas),
agricultural, municipal and forestry waste and other renewable resources
such as energy crops. EGS’ power plants can also accept a wide range of
biomass feedstock, all of which can be converted into a clean burning,
medium-Btu gas that can be used as a direct substitute for natural gas.
project developers, we provide turn-key installation of onsite
co/tri/quadgeneration systems which includes design, engineering and
development of power projects up to 100 MW.
We were recently selected to design, build, own and operate a 15 MW
trigeneration power plant for the new
and Resort. This power plant will incorporate thermal energy storage as
well as solar power for one of the cleanest power plants to ever be
advanced trigeneration process, coupled with a conventional reciprocating
engine or gas turbine, can convert fuel into electric power at over twice
the efficiency of conventional systems. Our highly efficient power plants
produce up to 4 different types of energy using our advanced trigeneration
technology i.e. electricity, steam, hot water, and chilled water for air
conditioning from one “on-site” power plant in one process using one
Goodell is the Founder and Chairman of Ecogeneration Solutions, LLC, the
parent company of Cogeneration Technologies and Trigeneration
Technologies. Mr. Goodell has a B.A. in Economics from
and an M.B.A. from
. With several sales and
marketing awards from his background in in the natural gas utility
industry, including 1st Place Company Sales Award in the annual
Who’s Who Sales Competition at Entex (now a Reliant Energy Company), he
started marketing cogeneration and trigeneration energy and power systems
in the mid 1980’s.
more information, visit Cogeneration Technologies website at:
Trigeneration Technologies website at:
12615 Jones Rd. #209
Success Stories from the www.bchp.org
Exhibition and Convention Center –
In 1992, The Chicago Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority (MPEA),
overseeing the McCormick Place Exhibition and Convention Center, was
planning a 2.2 million square foot expansion to the 2.8 million square
foot complex. Faced with a $27 million capital investment in new heating
and cooling facilities, the MPEA decided to outsource the operations of
the existing energy plant, and their future energy needs for the growing
The project developer’s approach integrated the operation of the
existing heating and cooling equipment with a Thermal Energy Storage (TES)
system and three Trigeneration (combined heating, cooling and power)
systems. The TES system, the largest chilled water storage tank in
, (8.5 million gallons) stores cold water at produced at night and
discharges it to meet daylight peak cooling loads. The three Trigeneration
systems combine a gas turbine, a motor/generator, a heat recovery steam
generator and an ammonia screw compressor chiller.
The cost savings to the MPEA came in two forms. Operational savings of $1
million per year are projected over the life of the project. By allowing
the developer to take ownership of the facility, the MPEA also avoided a
$27 million up front capital outlay.
The efficiency improvements of the integrated
facility resulted in substantial environmental benefits from the
project. By using the same fuel twice to produce electricity and other
energy products and maximizing the use of all the possible energy from the
fuel, the facility is able to achieve fuel conversion efficiencies of 91%.
As such emissions of CO2 are reduced annually by 24,327 tons
and NOx by 59 tons (twice the expected annual emissions from
the facility) when compared to the production of these same products
separately, by conventional means.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology - MIT
The MIT Cogeneration Project represents a ten year,
forty million dollar initiative by the Massachusetts Institute of
Technology to generate its own electrical and thermal power. The new plant
is projected to save the Institute millions of dollars over the life of
the plant through the technology of cogeneration. Through cogeneration,
electrical and thermal power is generated simultaneously by utilizing the
waste heat from a gas turbine to generate steam. This technology is
approximately 18% more efficient than the technology that it replaces. MIT
feels strongly that environmental preservation is more important than ever
so they have utilized the latest technology available for reducing
emissions into the air of
. The new technology used in the plant reduces emissions by 45% compared
to the old system.
Building, at the University
Maryland, College Park (UMCP), utilizes two combined heat and power systems. The
first system is comprised of two reciprocating engine driven air
conditioners, a desiccant system, and an existing rooftop unit. The
gas-fired engines provide steam to the desiccant dehumidifier, which then
supplies dry air to the rooftop unit.
Yearly savings for this system are approximately $10,000 with a 55%
reduction in CO2.
The second system includes a Honeywell Parallon 75 microturbine and
absorption chiller for electric power and cooling requirements. Broad Air
Changsha, China, is donating a 25 ton Lithium Bromide/Water chiller for the facility. The
microturbine and the chiller will be shipped to UMCP in the spring and be
operating in time for the cooling season.
The Parallon 75 will produce electricity; recoverable heat from the unit
will run the absorption chiller, avoiding the need for grid-connected
electricity. The combination will be self sufficient, running on natural
gas. A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Broad Air Conditioning has
been established which will allow the
access to data generated during testing and operation of the system. Broad
will also have access to data generated at the
. The microturbine provides 75kW of electric power for the 51,000 ft2
building. Annual savings for the system are forecasted to be $25,000 with
a 40% reduction in CO2.
Busch Cogeneration Project -
The Busch cogeneration project was designed as an
addition to the existing central heating plant. The old plant consists of
one 50 million Btu per hour and two 100 million
Btu per hour high temperature water heaters, which,
like the new turbines, are also fueled by either natural gas or diesel
fuel. This older portion of the total plant also contains two 250 Kilowatt
diesel generators which can provide emergency power to the heating plant,
as well as to the pressurizers, water softeners and makeup water
de-aerators required by the high temperature hot water system. The new
cogeneration plant water heaters will each recover up to 25 million Btu's
per hour from the turbine exhaust, with an additional 25 million Btu's per
hour available from the duct burners. This translates to a total heat
output from the three turbine trains of 150 million Btu's per hour, which
will maintain a 250,000 gallon water loop system at 370o F. The resulting
facility is an integrated plant with a heating capacity of 400 million
Btu's / hr, with emergency plant power capability in the unlikely event a
facility wide power outage occurs.
Diagram of the Cogeneration Plant at
Special thanks to the EPA, DOE,
EIA, ASHRAE, and ACEEE for providing data and relevant information.