233Combined Heat and Power

Traditional fuel-based, large-scale electric power generation is typically about 39% efficient, while separate boilers are about 50% efficient. In either case, the excess heat is simply lost. Engine-driven CHP systems recover the heat from engine exhaust, jacket water, and lubricating oil as described earlier. CHP systems using reciprocating engines range from a few kW to 5 MW electrical output for a single unit. Electrical efficiencies range from 34% in small units to 41% in larger installations. Thermal efficiency is typically 40 to 50%; thus, total efficiency approaches 90%. Figure 2.9 displays the heat sources.

ICE-based CHP is already a healthy industry, as shown in Table 2.4.

Radiation, Oil, etc.

M1U1

Heat Out v Useful Work y 500 Btu/HP Per Hour

2500 ' Btu/HP Per Hour

Jacket Water or Air

Par Unnr '

I 4000 Btu/HP/HR I at 40% Efficiency i

Heat Out

Heat Out

Exhaust

Heat Out

Hypothetical Figures for Engine Heat Rejection

FIGURE 2.9

ICE heat sources for CHP systems.

TABLE 2.4

CHP Sites Using Reciprocating Engines

TABLE 2.4

CHP Sites Using Reciprocating Engines

State

Number of Sites

% of U.S. Market

California

493

42.0

New York

136

11.6

New Jersey

117

10.0

Massachusetts

46

3.9

Illinois

44

3.7

Pennsylvania

44

3.7

Connecticut

43

3.7

Michigan

28

2.4

Texas

23

2.0

Virginia

17

1.4

Florida

16

1.4

Arizona

15

1.3

Top 12 Totals

1022

87.1

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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