Diverse businesses in a vast range of industries - from four-star luxury hotels to massive city landfills - boost energy efficiency and cut power costs by installing Capstone microturbines in combined heat and power (CHP or cogeneration) or combined cooling, heating and power (CCHP or trigeneration) applications. In fact, microturbine-powered CHP and CCHP applications increase energy efficiencies from about 28% to greater than 80%. Here's how it works:
As microturbines generate clean-and-green electricity, they produce exhaust heat. With CHP and CCHP, the waste heat is captured rather than released to the atmosphere. This thermal power is then used to heat buildings, warm water for laundry or heat swimming pool water. By recycling waste heat, companies reduce reliance on outdated, traditional energy sources - grid power and boilers.
In a CCHP application, an absorption chiller is added to the system, which turns waste heat into a cooling source most commonly used for air conditioning - further boosting energy efficiencies since less utility power is needed to run the air conditioners. Capstone microturbine-powered CHP and CCHP systems:
- Increase operational efficiency: Less fuel is required to produce a given energy output. Additionally, CHP avoids transmission losses that occur when electricity travels through power lines. Capstone-powered CHP systems can achieve extremely high energy efficiency in excess of 80%.
- Cut costs: With exceptional energy efficiency, microturbine-powered CHP systems dramatically reduce energy consumption, thus saving facilities considerable money on energy bills.
- Ensure reliability: Microturbine-powered CHP systems provide high-quality electricity and thermal energy to a site independent from the power grid. This improves power quality and decreases the impact of power outages. Capstone microturbine CHP systems also can provide secure power to keep businesses and occupants safe during extended power outages.
- Reduce emissions: Because less fuel is required to produce each unit of energy output, CHP reduces air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. Additionally, Capstone CHP and CCHP systems can run on such diverse fuel sources as natural gas, propane and biogas. Microturbines generate electricity and thermal power onsite and eliminate or reduce reliance on such expensive and demanding sources as utility grid power, outdated boilers and furnaces - all of which emit significant levels of greenhouse gasses and require excessive amounts of fuel.
To produce 120kW of hot water using 65kW of electricity in a CHP application, Capstone microturbines require 230kW of fuel. To achieve the same electricity and hot water outputs, some traditional energy sources use 33 percent more fuel, significantly driving up operational costs.