Combined Heat Cooling and Power: An Initial Look and Thoughts On Research Directions

March 25, 2003 - 12:00pm
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Small-scale distributed generation (DG) has had great success in some electricity markets, such as in the Netherlands, where natural gas-fired engines of <1MWe each are operated as base-load, representing 1,500MWe of capacity (6% of the national total). While there are many potential drivers of growth of DG in North America, including enhanced reliability for the customer, grid support, and inability to site new centralized generation or new transmission, European experience has shown that DG is often economical only when waste heat can be captured for on-site use. Utilizing waste heat is relatively simple when thermal loads are dominated by heating, but cooling dominates thermal loads in many parts of North America, especially during peak electricity demand periods. To date, no significant economic analysis of small-scale combined heat, cooling and power (CHCP) technologies has been performed, although manufacturers are beginning to experiment with such applications.  This talk examines the use of absorption cooling technology in CHP applications at a large commercial facility in North America with both steam and cooling demand. Directions for future research in this area will be discussed, with an eye towards developing a collaboration between ERG and LBNL. Alex Farrell's research is on energy and environmental technology, economics, and policy. More specifically, he is interested in the use of technical (i.e. scientific and engineering) information in policy-making, market-based environmental regulation (i.e. emission trading), the environmental impacts of energy, the application of sustainability in decision-making, security in energy systems, and alternative transportation fuels. Alex has a B.S. in Systems Engineering from the U.S. Naval Academy and a Ph.D. in Energy Management and Policy from the University of Pennsylvania. His prior experience has been with Carnegie Mellon University, Harvard University, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Air Products and Chemicals, and the U.S. Navy. For the last two years, he was the Executive Director of the Carnegie Mellon Electricity Industry Center.

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