How Dalkia Aegis, EDF Group’ Combined Heat and Power systems meet the Green standardCHP systems embrace several green energy criteria by maximizing efficiency and capturing waste-heat.
Create energy efficiencies and reduce carbon footprint.
The mantra has been at the core of Dalkia Aegis, EDF Group’s mission statement since the company was founded in 1985. It is also at the core of the global community’s efforts to convert to “green” energy production.
Green Energy is often described as “alternative energy,” meaning energy that is produced with less of a negative impact on the environment than fossil fuels (coal, oil, natural gas). The typical, most commonly cited examples of green energy are wind, solar, and hydro.
So how does CHP, also known as Combined Heat and Power or cogeneration, work as a green energy? After all, the technology uses a fossil fuel (natural gas) as its primary source.
The EPA recognizes CHP as a green technology. “Combined heat and power (CHP) systems offer considerable environmental benefits when compared with purchased electricity and onsite-generated heat. By capturing and utilizing heat that would otherwise be wasted from the production of electricity, CHP systems require less fuel than equivalent separate heat and power systems to produce the same amount of energy.
Because less fuel is combusted, greenhouse gas emissions, such as carbon dioxide (CO2), as well as criteria air pollutants like nitrogen oxides (NOx) and sulfur dioxide (SO2), are reduced.” (epa.gov/chp).
Traditional electric power plants operate at only 30% efficiency, meaning that for every 100 units of fuel put in, only 30 units of energy are produced, with 70 units being dumped as waste heat. In contrast, the CHP system will recapture the high quality exhaust heat, produced from the natural gas engine, to be re-used as thermal energy for heating, domestic hot water, and air conditioning. In this way each molecule of natural gas input is used for “double-duty”, fully exploiting the fuel’s potential in its simultaneous production of both heat and electricity. Dalkia Aegis CHP systems operate at over 85% efficiency.
Why is that significant? Two-thirds of all the fuel used to make electricity in the U.S. is generally wasted by venting unused thermal energy from power generation equipment into the air and losses through the distribution grid.
The primary goal of developing green sources of energy is to generate power while minimizing both waste and pollution, to thereby reduce the impact of energy production on the environment.
In fact, gas-power Combined Heat and Power systems emit substantially less carbon dioxide per kilowatt-hour than any other fossil technology in general commercial use.
“Green energy” is an umbrella term to describe all manner of alternative energy resources and Combined Heat and Power certainly belongs under that umbrella. The technology available in all Dalkia Aegis, EDF Group CHP systems has proven over the long haul to improve energy efficiency and reduce carbon footprints.