Combined Heat and Power Systems

Combined heat and power (CHP) systems provide on-site electric power, heating, and cooling from a single fuel source. This efficient power generation technology is also called cogenerationLink opens in new window - close new window to return to this page..

Conventional power generation plants expel byproduct heat as waste into the atmosphere. In contrast, CHP systems recover that waste heat and use it to operate industrial processes, heat domestic hot water, and provide space heating and cooling.

Common CHP equipment includes reciprocating engines, microturbines, steam turbines, and gas turbines. Typical CHP customers include industrial, commercial, institutional, and multifamily facilities.

Benefits of CHP

CHP systems offer many benefits when appropriately matched to a building’s use and size. The use of CHP is growing at a rapid pace due to increasing demand for energy efficiency, operating flexibility, grid outage resiliency, and the reduction of emissions harmful to the environment.

CHP systems are more fuel efficient than centralized (or grid-based) power generation in that CHP recycles valuable heatLink opens in new window - close new window to return to this page. to produce power where it can be used. In contrast, grid-generated electricity is lost when transmitted over long distances.

Designed to operate every day, CHP systems are proven to be more reliable than traditional emergency back-up generators during grid outages. This resiliency makes them a good option for multifamily buildings. The ability to produce electricity and heat during grid outages is also advantageous for critical care facilities including nursing homes and hospitals.

Increasing fuel efficiency by installing a CHP system decreases emissions of environmental pollutants such as carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide, and nitrogen dioxide. These pollutants are the primary cause of climate change, acid rain, and other forms of environmental damage.

Installing CHP Systems

Learn more about how NYSERDA can help you evaluate CHP options through the Combined Heat and Power Program.

Visit our Distributed Power Generation and Performance Data pageLink opens in new window - close new window to return to this page. to learn more about distributed energy resource technologies, incentives, best practices, facility data, and more.