How CHP works

Cogeneration, also known as Combined Heat and Power, integrates the production of heat and power into a single, highly efficient process.

During cogeneration, heat used in the generation of power is captured instead of floating away into the atmosphere. Once captured, heat from CHP systems can be used to meet energy demand for a variety of facilities; from industrial factories to government buildings, hospitals to leisure centres.

There are four simple stages to CHP:

1. Electricity generation

2. Electricity distribution to site

3. Heat recovery

4. Heat distribution to site

An engine, usually fuelled by mains gas, is coupled to an alternator to produce electricity. Heat that would usually be wasted is recovered from this process through the exhaust, water jacket and oil cooling circuits. This heat is then distributed to the site to meet local heating requirements instead of burning gas in a boiler. 

Heat from Combined Heat and Power can also be used to generate cooling by using an absorption chiller unit. This process is known as trigeneration.


Cogen Diagram - How CHP works



CHP, easy as 123: the journey to Combined Heat and Power