Technology & Equipment

Traditionally, electricity is generated at large central power plants using fossil fuel such as coal, oil, natural gas, nuclear, or hydraulic means. Size does matter to these generation plants due to economies of scale.

Smaller scale power generation using fossil fuel combustion, electrochemical processes, fuel cells, and renewable processes including wind, solar, hydraulic, geothermal, biomass or landfill gas combustion are viable alternatives to centralized power plants.

Equipment

CHP equipment includes prime movers such as reciprocating engines, combustion turbines, micro-turbines, backpressure steam turbines and fuel cells.

  Micro-Turbines   Reciprocating Engines   Combustion Turbines
 Size of Installation
  • 25 kW to 500 kW
 Size of Installation
  • 200 kW to 4 MW
 Size of Installation
  • 500 kW to 25 MW
 Typical Applications
  • Hot water of low pressure steam
  • Space heating
  • Absorption chillers
  • Desiccant dehumidification
  • Back up power
 Typical Applications
  • Hot water
  • Low pressure steam
  • Small direct energy systems


     
 Typical Applications
  • Large quantity of high pressure steam required
  • Large industrial or commercial users
  • Large district energy systems


     

While current fuel cell capital costs are higher than traditional CHP technologies, rapid advancement in fuel cell technologies, the promise of lower carbon dioxide emissions and lower labour costs can make fuel cells an attractive alternative for some commercial and institutional applications.

Specifications for cogeneration equipment includes size, output requirements, available footprint space, emissions, and fuels. Site location, interconnection requirements and configuration affect the total cost of a cogeneration system. As a general rule of thumb, turbines produce steam more efficiently while engines produce hot water more efficiently. Cogeneration equipment such as packaged CHP systems and heat recovery steam generators (HRSG) are also available.

For more information on CHP contact your Union Gas Account Manager.