CURRENT[c]Y: Saving money and energy with CHP


CHP and Data Centers

The history of Combined Heat and Power, or cogeneration, goes back to 1882 when Thomas Edison used the technology as the core of the world’s first commercial power plant.

Aegis Energy, EDF Group has updated this technology and made it highly relevant for today’s applications.

Combined Heat Power systems, like the Aegen ThermoPower 75kW developed by Aegis Energy, EDF Group have proven to reduce both energy costs and emissions for a variety of facilities, from healthcare and assisted living facilities, to recreational and multi-residential complexes, and hotels. There are also institutional, educational, and industrial facility applications.

At last week’s Data Center World Conference in Las Vegas, CHP was touted as an energy and cost savings hero for data centers as well.

In a presentation given by Terence Waldron, president at Waldron Engineering and Construction, Combined Heat and Power was lauded as a viable source of data center power.

“CHPs convert natural gas to energy efficiently, but when used in tandem with absorption chillers can also in some cases provide all the chilled water a data center may need,” Waldron said. “A CHP can also act as backup in case of utility-feed failure, so there are reliability benefits as well.”

North American Energy Reliability Corporation stated in 2012 that “the electrical industry faces significant reliability issues this decade.” This of course has a big impact on the data centers and creates a need for on-site critical power.

With CHP you have on-site primary power as well as on-site critical power.

Very often data centers employ CCHP, Combined Cooling, heat and power, which some call trigeneration.

Waldron points out that a facility that has a CHP has a substantially lower overall greenhouse-gas footprint than a facility that gets all of its power from the utility and uses a boiler for comfort heating.

“With a 40-percent efficient engine, the remaining 60 percent of energy takes the form of heat, which an absorption chiller converts into chilled water,” said Waldron. “Coincidentally, the amount of chilled water a 40-percent efficient engine can produce this way is about equivalent to the amount of chilled water needed to cool the servers it powers.”

Waldron considers the equation a minor phenomenon.

“It’s an interesting balance,” he said. “No-one designed the engine in that way. It just happened that way.”

For more information on how CHP could benefit your building, contact an Aegis representative through

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