Combined heat and power (CHP) – sometimes referred to as cogeneration – is an efficient and clean approach to generating onsite electric power and useful thermal energy from a single fuel source. Instead of purchasing electricity from the distribution grid and burning fuel in an on-site furnace or boiler to produce thermal energy, CHP provides both energy services to a facility in one energy-efficient step. This on-site generation ultimately reduces line losses and strain on grid infrastructure while also increasing energy efficiency, reliability, and security.
The promotion of CHP is part of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) mission to create and sustain American leadership in the transition to a global clean energy economy. In line with that mission, ORNL’s Energy Science and Technology Directorate operates the CHP Deployment Program, which provides technical assistance and resources to end users interested in CHP to facilitate more widespread adoption of CHP technologies. This program has aided the installation of CHP systems in over 4,500 sites across the United States, including colleges, universities, greenhouses, hospitals, hotels, wastewater treatment plants, and more.
Currently, there is a suite of commercially available, predominantly gas-fired CHP technologies that produce both electricity and thermal energy on-site. Standardized, packaged CHP systems can overcome numerous barriers to CHP installations by reducing design errors, limiting uncertainty about projected performance, shortening project install time, streamlining permitting, and reducing the overall cost. As part of the effort to spread the adoption of CHP, the CHP Deployment Program has created a collection of databases to better share information about the available CHP systems, active CHP projects, and current CHP installations:
The Packaged CHP Catalog (eCatalog) is a public-private partnership designed to increase deployment of CHP. It functions as an open source, web-based system that features DOE-recognized packaged CHP systems.
- Packaged CHP Accelerator
The Packaged CHP Accelerator was initiated to catalyze the deployment of standardized, packaged CHP systems suitable for a wide range of end user facilities.
- CHP Project Profiles Database
In this database, more than 200 CHP Project Profiles compiled by DOE's CHP Technical Assistance Partnerships (TAPs) can be searched by a variety of characteristics.
- CHP Installation Database
This database contains a comprehensive listing of combined heat and power installations throughout the country.
- Microgrid Installation Database
This database contains a comprehensive listing of microgrid installations throughout the country.
More information on CHP can be found at the Better Builds Solution Center.