Cogeneration offers greater efficiency and sustainability in energy production
Article 2, paragraph 8, of Legislative Decree No. 79 of 16 March 1999 defines COGENERATION as “the combined production of electricity and heat under the conditions defined by the Electricity and Gas Authority, which guarantee significant energy savings compared to separate production”.
Independently of the technology used, the conversion of primary energy (typically provided by a fuel) into mechanical and/or electrical energy entails the production of a portion of heat that usually dissipates into the external environment. With cogeneration, it is possible to recover most of this heat that would otherwise be lost, with significant savings in terms of costs and energy.
Cogeneration therefore means simultaneously producing heat and electrical energy for a beneficial effect.
The value of cogeneration has long been officially recognized by the European Union with Directive 2004/8/EC, which also serves for the purposes of achieving the 20/20/20 objectives.
High efficiency cogeneration
In order for a cogeneration plant to be recognised as highly efficient cogeneration, its production of electrical/mechanical and thermal energy must comply with certain constraints, as defined in Legislative Decree no. 20 of 8 February 2007 and the supplementary Ministerial Decree of 4 August 2011.
What are the advantages of cogeneration?
A cogeneration plant has mainly the following advantages:
Primary energy savings of 30% on average
Reduction of polluting emissions
Lower distribution losses for the national electricity system
If correctly sized, the cogeneration plant is the investment with the best Return of Investments
It is the technology with the highest CO2 reduction in relation to investment. Here, for example, is the specific CO2 reduction for every € 1000 invested:
Solar thermal: 180 ÷ 360 kg / year avoided
Photovoltaic: 200 ÷ 580 kg / year avoided
Micro-cogeneration 480 ÷ 800 kg / year avoided
Cogeneration 600 ÷ 1000 kg / year avoided
Here is an example of savings achievable with a 1 MW plant in the food sector that allows a payback in 2 years.
What is energy efficiency?
The energy efficiency of a plant, which ranges from the performance of an engine to that of an industry or an entire country, is the ability of the system to exploit the energy supplied to it to meet its needs. Lower consumption means increased efficiency. In general terms, energy efficiency means the ability to use energy in the best way possible.
Energy efficiency also indicates the additional benefits that a cogeneration plant offers, such as the reduction of losses in energy transmission and distribution (given the proximity of the plant to the user) and the reduction of energy-related expenses.
Applications of cogeneration plants
Cogeneration plants are installed where there is a simultaneous use of electrical/mechanical and thermal energy, such as in companies in the chemical, food, textile, plastic, and pharmaceutical sectors, as well as the hospital and tertiary sector.
CGT cogeneration plants
A cogeneration plant must be built and sized appropriately in order to be efficient and advantageous. This is why it is important to choose a reliable partner with proven experience, who is up to date with the latest technologies and innovations.
With a solid know-how, CGT offers its customers customised turn-key solutions to fully meet their needs, while focusing on the sustainability of the products and services it provides. Customers who lean on CGT's professionalism can also rely on CAT engines, which have always been known for their reliability and innovation.
CGT cogeneration plants
Every customer has its own needs. It is for this reason that CGT, starting from a detail-oriented preliminary analysis, designs, develops, and manufactures custom-made cogeneration plants able to best respond to your needs.