Electricity, heating, and cooling are the three main elements contributing to the energy consumption in residential, commercial, and public buildings all around the world. Their separate generation causes higher fuel consumption, at a time where energy demands and fuel costs are continuously rising. A tri-generation system can be a cushion against these increasing energy costs which enable harnessing of the excess heat, steam and other gases, significantly improving the overall efficiency of energy use in electric power generation.
Is it a new technology?
Tri-generation systems have been in exercise for many years. Developments in recent years have mainly focused on individual subsystems such as the power system, heat recovery system, thermally driven refrigeration machines and system integration and control.
What makes the concept attractive?
Secure, reliable and affordable energy supplies are fundamental to economic stability and development. Tri-generation or combined cooling, heat and power (CCHP) is the production of electricity, heat and cooling in the one process. Typically this means a gas fired generator producing electricity and heat with the exhaust heat going to an absorption chiller which produces chilled water and hot water for air conditioning or alternatively the heat is used to heat a swimming pool.
Tri-generation systems supply energy in three forms: Electrical power, Heating, Cooling
Tri-generation systems can have overall efficiencies as high as 90% compared to 33%-35% for electricity generated in central power plants
Using tri-generation to produce electricity, savings on energy costs up to 30% can be achieved, depending on the relative price of gas and electricity to the site. Also Producing electricity on site using gas produces approximately 30% less greenhouse gases then using power from the grid.