1051 CHP Efficiency

Power generation systems create large amounts of heat in the process of converting fuel into electricity. Over two-thirds of the energy content of the input fuel is converted to heat and wasted in many older central generating plants. As an alternative, an end user with significant thermal and power needs can generate both its thermal and electrical energy in a single combined heat and power system located at or near its facility. Figure 10.1 shows how a well-balanced CHP system outperforms a traditional remote electricity supply and on-site boiler combination. The chart illustrates that out of 100 units of input fuel, CHP converts 80 to useful output, 30 to electricity, and 50 to steam or some other useful thermal output; traditional separate heat and power components require 163 units of energy to accomplish the same end-use tasks. While future central station plants will be able to generate electricity more efficiently than the 30% average rate used in developing the chart, CHP installations with proper thermal/electric balance have design efficiencies of 80 to 90% and will still result in significant overall energy savings. On-site use of CHP also reduces transmission and distribution system line losses to zero from typical central unit line losses of 4 to 7%.

Solar Stirling Engine Basics Explained

Solar Stirling Engine Basics Explained

The solar Stirling engine is progressively becoming a viable alternative to solar panels for its higher efficiency. Stirling engines might be the best way to harvest the power provided by the sun. This is an easy-to-understand explanation of how Stirling engines work, the different types, and why they are more efficient than steam engines.

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