Blowing Hot or Cold Benefits of Heating & Cooling Through Cogeneration

 The cost of producing energy is on the rise, a seemingly never ending ascent  that places big heating and cooling bills in the hands of building owners.  These costs are then passed down to residents. As a result, many boards are  searching for ways to reduce energy expenditures. For some, cogeneration is the  answer.  

 What exactly is cogeneration? Paul Morisi, lead program manager for  Brooklyn-based National Grid explains that it is a process that allows a  building owner to produce power through a natural gas engine. “Cogeneration has two byproducts which derive from recovering waste heat from the  engine,” he says. “This waste heat can be used to produce heat or cooling for the building.”  

 This movement is gaining traction. “Cogeneration is a fairly widespread phenomenon both in Manhattan and in the  outer boroughs. National Grid has been promoting cogeneration for a long time  and there are hundreds of buildings already using it as well as many industrial  and institutional buildings,” says Morisi. “Both New York City and New York State also promote the widespread adoption of  cogeneration because of its environmental and energy savings benefits.”  

 Cogeneration requires a CHP (combined heat and power) system to utilize the  recoverable thermal energy generated during the running of the  engine-generator. “The cost of the fuel and maintenance required to run the engine closely matches  the cost saved by not purchasing that quantity of electricity from the utility,” says Stephen Stone, president of the Long Island-based DSM Engineering  Associates, PC. “The fuel saved by not running a boiler, electrical heater or purchased steam to  obtain the heat generated by the CHP is the driving force for the CHP  economics.”  

 “Interest in CHP really took off in 2008 when Mayor Bloomberg unveiled his PlaNYC  sustainability vision, which aims to reduce the city’s carbon emissions 30 percent by 2030,” says Dale Desmarais, sales manager at Aegis Energy Services, which engineers,  manufactures and installs modular, natural gas-fueled CHP systems. “CHP systems reduce reliance on other utilities, reduce energy costs and reduce  carbon footprint. CHP saves on energy costs and emissions because one fuel  source, in this case, natural gas, produces two sources of energy: heat and  electricity.”  

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2 Comments

  • It is good to see that we are finally moving forward on getting heat at a better price, and getting better air quality! Interresting article, now, what can you do for the little home owner? Were slowly dying here!
  • I'd like to see a follow-up on the current state of grants and subsidies available in this new age of austerity. What's the state of Con Ed, NYSERDA and Federal monies available for residential buildings?