Book Review – Small-Scale Cogeneration Handbook

Small-Scale Cogeneration Handbook, 2nd edition
by Bernard Kolanowski, 2003

My second energy paper is about cogeneration, also called combined heat and power (CHP). Cogen plants burn fuel for electricity and also put the waste heat to work. The waste heat can be used for space or water heating, for industrial processes, or for air conditioning (via a heat-exchange setup). This book covers the basics for someone interested in putting a cogen plant to work. Common uses of cogen are for manufacturing processes, hospitals, hotels, and universities. Basically, anyone who has a large and stable heating load (in addition to their electric load) could be a candidate for CHP. Electrical output of the systems range from dozens of kilowatts to hundreds of megawatts. About 8% of the U.S. electricity generation comes from CHP plants.

For me, interested in modeling cogen/CHP plants instead of buying one, the most useful parts of this book are where it discusses PURPA and subsequent U.S. regulation (Chapter 3) as well as where it discusses financing and contracting (Chapter 11). As this edition was written in 2003, some of the discussions of the deregulation of electrical systems and incentives for green energy are out of date, but I’m sure the newer version is more current.

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