Cogeneration, also known as combined heat and power (CHP), is a highly efficient process that generates electricity and heat simultaneously. By utilizing the exhaust energy from gas turbines, useful steam can be generated in a heat exchanger which can then be used in any number of applications, all with no additional fuel consumption. As a result, the overall efficiency of CHP systems can exceed 80 percent, making CHP one of the most energy-efficient methods of power generation. With the broadest gas turbine product portfolio in the industry, GE is uniquely positioned to provide its customers with the right products to provide the required ratio of power to heat for their CHP systems. Below are some common CHP applications.


District Heating

District heating power plants employ cogeneration systems to provide both electricity and heating for local facilities and homes. The exhaust energy of the gas turbines is used to generate steam which is then distributed to the consumers for use in heating. District heating plants can range from large, centralized generating facilities for high population areas to smaller facilities that serve more remote locations. Because the demand for steam varies seasonally, customers looking to build a district heating facility are looking for the lowest lifecycle cost of electricity and steam over a wide range of operating conditions with varying power to heat ratios.



Desalination power plants use combined heat and power to generate electricity and provide thermal energy in the form of steam for use in the operation of distillation equipment to produce fresh water from seawater. These are typically utility-scale power plants where both the electrical and thermal energy are fairly stable throughout the year. Therefore, customers developing desalination power plants seek power generation solutions that meet a specific power-to-heat ratio required to meet demand and deliver the lowest cost of electricity and steam.


Power, Heating and Cooling

Combined cooling, heat, and power (CCHP) systems—also called trigeneration systems—are the combination of cogeneration plants and absorption chillers. GE’s Jenbacher gas engines and our aeroderivative gas turbines product lines offer an excellent solution for generating air conditioning and/or refrigeration. Cogeneration equipment, such as the single-rotor, two-stage, high-pressure gas turbine paired with a six-stage power turbine, offers high efficiency and low emissions. Absorption chillers provide an economic and environmental alternative to conventional refrigeration with compression chillers. Combining those two elements enables excellent total fuel efficiency, elimination of HCFC/CFC refrigerants, and reduced overall air emissions.

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